Jane Campion to Get Locarno Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Honor

Jane Campion will be honored this year by the Locarno Film Festival, which will present the New Zealand director its Pardo d’Onore Manor Award for lifetime achievement.

Campion will receive the tribute at the 77th edition of the Swiss festival on Friday, Aug. 16.

Locarno will also screen two of Campion’s best-known films selected by the director herself for the tribute: Her 1990 feature An Angel at My Table and her 1993 Palme d’Or winning global breakout The Piano. The latter will be given a grand screening in a new 4K restoration at Locarno’s legendary Piazza Grande on the night of her award. Campion will also take part in a panel conversation at the festival on Saturday, August 17.

The Locarno Film Festival’s Pardo d’Onore Manor honor has previously been awarded to such filmmakers as Agnès Varda, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, Werner Herzog, Kelly Reichardt, and, last year, to Harmony Korine.

Campion was the first female director to win Cannes’ top prize and, in 2021, the first woman to win Venice’s Silver Lion for best director (for The Power of the Dog). She was the first two-time female best director nominee at the Oscars — for The Piano and The Power of the Dog, winning for the latter in 2022. She received an Academy Award for best original screenplay for The Piano.

In addition to her feature work, including the Henry James adaptation The Portrait of a Lady (1996), the Meg Ryan-thriller In the Cut (2003), and the John Keats/Fanny Brawne biopic Bright Star (2009), Campion broke new ground on the small screen with the Emmy-winning miniseries Top of the Lake, starring Elisabeth Moss.

“With her directorial debut, Sweetie (1989), Jane Campion asserted herself from the start as a distinctive and unmistakable voice,” said Locarno artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro, announcing the honor. “More than thirty years later, the values and extraordinary qualities of her filmmaking remain undiminished. Campion has sustained genuine complexity in her artistic practice, free to weave a dialogue with audiences and with the film industry in which she works without ever compromising on her vision and her artistic ambitions. Her work, peopled with tortured, fascinating characters and marked by an astonishing skill in grappling with the more disturbing side of the human condition, represents one of the undisputed pinnacles of contemporary filmmaking. Jane Campion’s artistic freedom and willingness to take risks to find new and deeper insights into the richness and complexities of human experience make her an unparalleled point of reference for anybody who thinks of film as an instrument of expression and emancipation. To offer the Pardo d’Onore to Jane Campion means – today – to welcome cinema in all its infinite possibilities and to look to the future without fear.”

The 77th Locarno Film Festival runs Aug. 7-17.

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