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Academy Award winning film-maker Jane Campion says she is "excited to be setting a story in this end-of-the-world paradise" before shooting her first New Zealand production in 20 years in Queenstown.
The Wellington-born writer-director, who garnered international acclaim with The Piano, Portrait of a Lady and Holy Smoke, brings the crime mystery mini-series Top of the Lake to locations in the Wakatipu next month.
Detective Robin Griffin (Elizabeth Moss of Mad Men fame) investigates the disappearance of a five-months pregnant 12-year-old named Tui in remote New Zealand, which leads her on a collision course with Matt Mitcham (Scottish star Peter Mullan, War Horse, My Name is Joe), Tui's father and a drug lord, as well as G.J. (Academy Award winner Holly Hunter, The Piano), a guru at a nearby women's camp.
Campion said in a statement she was "in love with the intense beauty of Southernmost New Zealand" and "to be able to tell the story over six hours gives myself and my brilliant team a chance to make something truly absorbing and memorable".
Academy award-winning co-producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King's Speech, Shame) said in a statement they were "thrilled to be working with Jane Campion and the incredibly talented collaborators who have come on board this unique series.
"To have Jane turn her creative energy to longer form drama is further proof of how exciting television has become, a key medium for sophisticated and original storytelling."