New Zealander Jane Campion wins first prize for French cinema
Newly awarded a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, director Jane Campion received the 13th Prix Lumière, one of the greatest distinctions in French cinema.
The New Zealander received the prize at the Lumière film festival in Lyon. In 1993, Champion was the first woman to win a Palme d’Or at Cannes for her film Le Piano. For her contemporaries, winning the Prize was an inspiring achievement.
“I am very, very, very moved to be here,” said French director Julia Ducournau. “It is more than symbolic, I feel that it is an intimate place. I am at home. I respect her very much as a filmmaker, she is a filmmaker who has meant a lot to me.”
In full admiration and praise of Campion’s contribution to cinema, actress and director Hafsia Herzi also expressed her joy at this award: “It’s incredible, this freedom, this intelligence, this mastery of the stage, it is is truly a fine example. “
A warm welcome in the cradle of cinema
In front of more than 3000 people, the Kiwi filmmaker was taken aback by the welcome she received in Lyon. Jane Campion is a rare filmmaker. She has made only nine feature films, including her masterpiece “The Piano”, as well as several series, including “Top of the Lake”.
In her films, she explores the most intimate facets of women: desire; the quest for freedom; go beyond the conventions of family and society.
While in Lyon, Campion took part in several public events, including a Masterclass at the Théâtre des Célestins, in the heart of the city. There she explains how she got into the cinema – almost by chance.
The city in south-eastern France was home to the Lumière brothers. The two men are considered to be the first pioneers of cinema and Campion went to the Lumière Institute, located on the site where the brothers first installed their cinematograph.
“It really is the birthplace of cinema, indeed, it’s beautiful that the Lyonnais have kept this monument, really,” Campion told Euronews, adding: “I feel like it made my life possible Growing up in the cinema is really … it really worked for me I felt like they were amazing adults, with great imaginations, answering big questions like, why are we- us here? What is the possibility of loving? Who am I? What is the future? …, just all the important questions, that people, that artists tackle through stories, and it got me really felt like part of the world. “
During the Lumière festival, Campion also presented his latest film, The Power of the Dog. Produced and broadcast by Netflix, it hits the small screen on December 1. The story centers on a brutal Montana cowboy, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who hides his true nature.