Jane Campion to Write, Direct Sundance Channel Miniseries Starring Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth Moss - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Attend BAFTA - P - 2011
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The seven-part miniseries will begin filming in February in Campion's native New Zealand.

NEW YORK – Sundance Channel is partnering with BBC Worldwide on Top of the Lake, a seven-part miniseries from director Jane Campion and starring Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss

Campion (The Piano, Portrait of a Lady) wrote the script with Gerard Lee (Sweetie). Garth Davis and Campion will share directing duties when the mini commences filming in February in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The miniseries is set in the remote mountains of New Zealand and follows the mysterious disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl, the daughter of a local drug lord (played by Peter Mullan). Moss plays the investigator charged with finding the girl.

Sarah Barnett, executive vp and general manager of Sundance Channel characterized Top of the Lake as “an emotional exploration into the depths of the human spirit.”

Campion, who hails from New Zealand, added: “I am in love with the intense beauty of southern most New Zealand and am excited to be setting a story in this end of the world paradise. To be able to tell the story ...gives myself and my brilliant team a chance to make something truly absorbing and memorable.”

Sundance has been methodically branching into scripted territory. Network executives announced earlier this week its first original scripted series; Rectify is about the struggles of a death row inmate released after 19 years when DNA evidence exonerates him of the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl.

The network has also had success in the mini format; snagging critical raves and a Golden Globe for Carlos. Sundance also partnered with ITV Studios on the scripted drama Appropriate Adult, starring Dominic West as the real-life British serial killer Fred West (no relation). It bows Dec.10 at 10 p.m.