In 2013, revered film director Jane Campion created the series Top of the Lake. A compelling crime drama spiked with menace and sexual politics, Indiewire described it as ‘one of the first examples of a major filmmaker realising the full potential of the “peak TV” era’.
In 2017, Top of the Lake returns. Centering on a mystery that begins on Sydney’s Bondi Beach and reaches into the darkest recesses of the city, the show sees Elisabeth Moss again in the role of Detective Robin Griffin, this time appearing with Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman as co-stars.
The Australian premiere of Top of the Lake: China Girl takes place at MIFF this year, with six episodes of the series to be screened in one long, engrossing afternoon. Later, join the series creators in conversation. At the Comedy Theatre on 6 August, Jane Campion, Gerard Lee and Ariel Kleiman will discuss the making of one of this year’s most anticipated television events, in a very special MIFF Talks event – presented in association with Melbourne International Film Festival, BBC First and Foxtel. Hosted by Sophie Hyde.
Presented in partnership with MIFF, BBC First and Foxtel.
Jane Campion is known for films such as Sweetie, An Angel at My Table, The Portrait of a Lady, Holy Smoke, In The Cut, Bright Star and The Piano for which she is the only female director to receive the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the second of four women ever to be nominated as Best Director at the Academy Awards. Jane went on to win Best Screenplay. In 2012 she created, executive produced, co-wrote and directed three episodes of Top of the Lake, a six-hour TV mini-series for the BBC and the Sundance Channel. Jane has recently completed production on the second Top of the Lake series.
Gerard Lee is an Australian author, screenwriter and director. Gerard wrote, with Jane Campion, the award-winning Top of the Lake, and returns for Top of the Lake: China Girl. In addition, Gerard has recently worked on Breath, directed by Simon Baker, adapted from the Tim Winton novel. Gerard also co-wrote the 2014 MIFF Premiere Fund-supported My Mistress.
Award-winning Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman earned international attention and praise with a series of distinctive short films, including 2008's Young Love and 2010’s Deeper Than Yesterday, which received top prizes at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals, before delving into feature films with the dark fantasy Partisan, in 2015. He joins Campion in the director’s chair for Top of the Lake: China Girl.
Australian filmmaker Sophie Hyde is a founding member of film collective Closer Productions. She makes provocative and intimate fiction and documentary films.
In 2014, Sophie’s debut feature drama 52 Tuesdays (director, producer, co-writer), won the Directing award for World cinema at Sundance Film Festival and the Crystal Bear for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival. 52 Tuesdays was set and filmed every Tuesday, only on Tuesdays, for one year. Made as an innovative low budget film, it has gone on to release theatrically around the world and win many awards including an Australian Writers Guild award for best feature screenplay. Alongside the film, she drove its companion project My 52 Tuesdays, a worldwide participatory work, accessed via through a portable photobooth and smartphone app.
Sophie’s feature documentaries include Life in Movement (producer/co-director), winner of the Australian Documentary Prize and the Cinedans Grand Jury and Audience Awards, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (producer), and Sam Klemke’s Time Machine (producer), which both premiered at Sundance Film Festival. She recently produced the short My Best Friend if Stuck on the Ceiling (Palm Springs, Sydney, Melbourne), and is currently producing Maya Newell’s new documentary focusing on two-way education models for Australia’s indigenous children.