The Power of Jane Campion: First woman with 2 Oscar nominations for Best Director

The Power of Jane Campion: First woman with 2 Oscar nominations for Best Director
Jane Campion attends the Lumiere Award Ceremony during the 13th Film Festival Lumiere In Lyon on October 15, 2021, in Lyon, France (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion scripted history as the first woman filmmaker to earn two Oscar nominations in the Best Director category. Campion's film 'The Power of The Dog' has bagged several Academy Award nominations this year, including Best Picture and Best Director. The highly acclaimed Netflix film starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst has earned Campion an award at the Venice Film Festival and the Golden Globes for Best Director this year. 

This, however, is not the first Oscar nomination for Campion. The veteran filmmaker was previously nominated in 1994 at the 66th Academy Awards for her film 'The Piano'. Though her Best Director dream remained unfulfilled, she had won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay that year. This time, Campion is competing with film industry maestros like Steven Spielberg, Kenneth Branagh, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Ryusuke Hamaguchi for the Best Director award. Prior to Campion, only seven women have been nominated in the Best Director category at Oscars so far. Among them, Kathryn Bigelow and Chloé Zhao are the only winners. 


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Jane Campion's journey to success in a highly male-dominated industry has been rife with roadblocks. But she overcame them with elan and went on to receive countless awards and accolades for her films since the beginning of her career. Born and brought up in New Zealand, Campion first ventured into filmmaking in the 1980s while attending the Australian School of Film and Television. In 1982, she released her first short film 'Peel' which went on to win the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Throughout the '80s, Campion worked on several other short films like 'A Girl's Own Story' (1984), 'Passionless Moments' (1985), 'After Hours' (1985), and the telefeature '2 Friends' (1986) — all of which earned national and international awards. 

Her first feature film 'Sweetie' was released in 1989 and won the Georges Sadoul prize of Best Foreign Film as well as the LA Film Critics' New Generation Award in 1990, the American Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Feature, and the Australian Critics' Award for Best Film. Her 1990 film 'An Angel At My Table' won as many as seven awards including the Silver Lion. Her first Oscar nomination 'The Piano' also won the Palme d'Or in 1993, making her the first-ever woman director to win the award in the feature film category. 

In her personal life, Campion was married to Colin Englert for 3 years and shares one daughter with him. 

Campion's Oscar history broke the internet as fans showered the 68-year-old with congratulatory messages. "Jane Campion becomes the first woman nominated for best director twice and her DP, the incredible Ari Wegner, only the 2nd woman nominated for best cinematography. As in ever. I am rooting for them both so hard," tweeted USA Today editor Barbara VanDenburgh.

A fan noted, "A phenomenal film that gets even better with every viewing. Jane Campion has done an tremendous job. Also loved Cumberbatch's performance, who steals the show in my opinion. Cinema is back indeed!"



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