Niki Caro, Director
As director and screenwriter, Niki Caro, is one of the most successful filmmakers to emerge from New Zealand.
After completing a BFA at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, New Zealand as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Film from Swinburne in Melbourne, Australia, Ms. Caro wrote and directed a number of highly acclaimed short films. Sure to Rise screened at the 1994 Cannes International Film Festival, and Footage was shown at the 1996 Venice International Film Festival. Her first feature film, Memory & Desire, focused on a Japanese married couple and was selected for Critics Week at the 1998 Cannes International Film Festival. It went on to win four New Zealand Film and Television Awards, including Best Film.
Her second feature film, Whale Rider, explored the Maori community of Whangara on New Zealand’s East Coast, and made an impact globally. Whale Rider was seen by millions of people and won over two dozen prizes around the world, including top honors at film festivals including Toronto (the People’s Choice Award), Sundance (the Audience Award), Rotterdam, San Francisco, Maui, and Seattle (Best Film). The film’s star Keisha Castle-Hughes received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, at the time the youngest nominee ever in that category.
Ms. Caro next directed North Country, a drama set in the U.S., on the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. The film starred Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek, and Woody Harrelson; Ms. Theron and Ms. McDormand were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, BAFTA Awards, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Satellite Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards, among other honors.
Continuing to strive to illuminate real lives and real communities on-screen, Ms. Caro directed the sleeper hit McFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner. Set in California’s Central Valley, the movie followed an all-Latino cross-country team to victory.
She is currently completing directing Anne, a bold and inspired new vision of the beloved Anne of Green Gables story. The telefilm will commence a new Netflix series exploring the classic character of Anne Shirley, who will be portrayed by Irish-Canadian actress Amybeth McNulty, growing up in the 1890s.