From the Archives, 1993: Campion’s Piano a Cannes success

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First published in The Age on May 26, 1993

‘Piano’ score is a Palme d’Or

Jane Campion had just returned from the south of France to her Elizabeth Bay home in Sydney when she received the news that her film, ‘The Piano’, had scored its historic win at the Cannes Film Festival.

Jane Campion directing a scene from “The Piano”.Credit: Publicity

‘The Plano’ is the first Australian film to win the Palme d’Or and New Zealand-born Campion is the first woman director to win the prize.

Campion, who is eight months pregnant, arrived home from the film festival on Sunday morning feeling stressed, and immediately took to her bed on doctor’s orders.

The news was broken yester-day via a 4.30 am phone call from her sister in London, who had heard the awards being announced on a live radio broadcast.

‘The Piano’, which was an early favourite to win, shared the top prize with ‘Farewell to my Concubine’ by Chinese director Chen Kaige.

Sam Neill, one of the stars of ‘The Piano’, accepted the award on Campion’s behalf, saying: “It’s a long way from New Zealand to this stage.”

American Holly Hunter took the prize for best actress for her leading role in the film.

The Prime Minister, Mr Keating, yesterday seat a congratulatory message to Campion:

“On behalf of the Australian Government and the people of Australia — my hearty and unrestrained congratulations on the triumph of ‘The Piano’“. Another triumph for the Australian film industry, an Australasian triumph, but most of all your own. Please convey our delight to all concerned.”

Campion’s husband, Colin Englet, said: “Jane is very proud to have won the award and to share it with the Chinese director.”

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