Niki Caro, 1966

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Woman Category: Theater & CinemaWoman Tags: Director and Producer

  • HerStory

    Film director, screenwriter, and producer. The director of the live-action adaptation of Mulan.

    Niki Caro was born in Wellington, New Zealand. From a young age, she was interested in art, and after graduating from Diocesan School for Girls, she attended the Elam School of Fine Arts, where she studied sculpture. During school, she realized that her true passion is cinema, and chanced her academic path. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she continued her studies at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, earning her Postgraduate Diploma in Film when she is 22 years old. Her theoretic knowledge wasn’t enough to be a director, and with no formal training, she mastered the filed by reading narrative film books and writing scripts.
     
    She began directing TV commercials, and in 1992 she got her breakthrough when she was signed to write and direct for the television series “Another Country.” She began working on short films, which were accepted in film festivals all over the world. In 1994, her short film “Sure to Rise” was nominated for the Golden Palm Award at Cannes. Four years later, she released her first feature film, “Memory & Desire.” Though the film did not succeed at the box office, it was chosen for Critics’ Week at Cannes and won the best new film at the New Zealand Film Awards. The next movie Caro wrote and direct was “Whale Rider,” in which she tells the story of a Māori girl who fights for her right to be a candidate for tribal chief. The film earned more than $41 million worldwide and was nominated for over 50 awards. Afterward, Caro gained world recognition and was asked to direct her first Hollywood feature – North Country, for which two of the actresses, Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand, were nominated for Academy Awards.
     
    Caro kept on directing films, both in New Zealand and in the US, featuring A list actors, such as Kevin Costner, Keisha Castle-Hughes, and Chloë Sevigny, and screening them in the most prestigious film festivals. In 2017, she directed the film “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” depicting the true story of the Polish couple, who hide and saved hundreds of Jews during WW2. For this adaptation, Caro won the Truly Moving Picture Award at the Heartland Film Festival. In that same year, she was elected to direct Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Mulan,” becoming the second woman and second New Zealander to direct a Disney film in a budget higher than $100 million. In “Mulan,” like in many of her films, Caro explores strong women characters that have to prove their strength and courage facing the society they live in.
     

    “When it comes to the art and craft of directing films, gender doesn’t apply.”

    “When it comes to the art and craft of directing films, gender doesn’t apply.”

     


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • Her full name is Nikola Jean Caro.
    • Her mother used to type her handwritten scripts drafts.
    • She was pregnant when “Whale Rider” was released, and she was unable to attend any of the films’ premieres.
    • In “Mulan” she insisted on a female-led crew team that included a producer, first assistant director, and director of photography.
    • She loves lowriding.
    • She is married to Andrew Lister; they have two daughters.
  • More About Her Legacy
    Awards:

    * Her short film "Footage" was an Official Selection at the Venice Film Festival (1996)
    * The alumni award from the Diocesan School for Girls
    * Appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2004)

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  • Woman Tags: Director, Producer

    Niki Caro Exclusive Interview for MULAN

    Mulan - Niki Caro Exclusive Interview
    Directed by Niki Caro and starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Li Gong,...

    A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. A live-action feature film based on Disney's 'Mulan.'

    #Mulan #NikiCaro.

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  • Caro in 2017. Photo credit - AndrewLister1 @ Wikipedia


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