Jane Campion to Receive Cologne Film Prize

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Jane Campion

The Oscar-winning director of 'The Piano' and TV series 'Top of the Lake' will be honored Oct. 6.

New Zealand director Jane Campion will be honored this year with the Cologne Film Prize.

The Oscar- and Palme d'Or-winning helmer of The Piano will receive her award, and its accompanying $30,000 (€25,000) cash bursary, at a gala ceremony Oct. 6 in Cologne.

Campion first caught the film world's attention in 1986 with her second short movie, An Exercise in Discipline: Peel, which won the Palme d'Or in Cannes for best short. Her sophomore feature, An Angel at My Table, showed Campion to be a master of the period melodrama, with a focus on strong female leads. The biopic on New Zealand novelist Jane Frame won seven awards at the Venice Film Festival, including the grand jury prize.

But it was 1993's The Piano that made Campion a household name. Premiering in competition in Cannes, the romantic drama, set in 1850s New Zealand and starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and an 11-year-old Anne Paquin, won the Palme d'Or (Campion is still the only female director to win Cannes' top honor) and followed that up with three Oscars and an impressive $40 million domestic box-office take.

Campion's next pic, an adaptation of Henry James' Portrait of a Lady, took best film honors in Venice and nabbed two Oscar nominations. After three more features — Holy Smoke, In the Cut and Bright Star — the helmer turned to the small screen, creating the crime drama Top of the Lake, which won a Golden Globe for star Elisabeth Moss.

The second season of the series debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

The Cologne Film Prize, started in 2007, is presented annually by the City of Cologne and the NRW film and media board. Previous winners include Claire Denis, Lars von Trier, Harmony Korine, David Lynch and Roman Polanski.