NIKI CARO (Director) is one of the most original and inventive
filmmakers to emerge from New Zealand in recent years. Her first feature film,
Memory and Desire, was selected for Critics Week at the Cannes Film Festival in
1998. It was voted Best Film in the 1999 New Zealand Film Awards, also winning a
Special Jury Prize for Caro's work as both writer and director. Her short
films have been similarly honored: Sure to Rise in competition in Cannes in
1994; and Footage at the Venice Film Festival in 1996.
Caro completed a BFA at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland and a
Postgraduate Diploma in Film from Swinburne in Melbourne. Returning to New
Zealand, she wrote and directed several highly regarded television dramas: Plain
Tastes, a one-hour television drama commissioned by the prestigious Television
New Zealand Montana Sunday Theatre slot; The Summer the Queen Came, a half hour
television drama; and a half-hour episode for the 1995 New Zealand Film and
Television Awards best drama series winner, True Life Stories.
Caro has received global recognition for her internationally acclaimed and
multi-award-winning feature film Whale Rider. Caro wrote the screenplay for
Whale Rider, adapting Maori author Witi Ihimaera's acclaimed novel of the same
name. She also directed the film. Whale Rider has become New Zealand's most
financially successful movie, playing in Australia, America, Europe, Asia, and
Caro and Whale Rider have won or been nominated for over fifty international
awards, including audience awards at prestigious international film festivals
including Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Seattle, Maui and Lake
Placid. Caro was also awarded the Audience Choice Best Director Award at
Seattle. Most recently, she won a Humanitas Award, an American-based prize for
film and television makers whose work offers insight into contemporary society.
Her screenplay for Whale Rider also won the Sundance Feature Film Category.
She is married to architect Andrew Lister, and the couple recently had their
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