An Evening with Dame Jane Campion

By Harry Evans

Wellington Film Society members got a treat on Monday night when none other than Palme d’Or winning director Dame Jane Campion came along in person to give a surprise introduction of her 1990 film, An Angel at My Table. We love connecting filmmakers and our audiences and are delighted that this year the directors of each of our two New Zealand films were able to join us in person (the other was Christine Jeffs who directed Rain (2001).

Dame Jane engaged members with stories of loving Janet Frame as a reader, meeting her and convincing her to let Jane turn her autobiography into a tv series, and eventually a film. She even revealed that Janet Frame was a fan of Alain Resnais films Last Year in Marienbad and Hiroshima Mon Amour (coincidentally both screened by us in 2019!).

Monday’s recorded our the highest audience rating for any film at 96% and comments like…

“That feeling when the Film Commission gives you the budget for a TV show and you return with the best film your country had ever made (until your next one)”

“Best screening so far of 2024. This remarkable piece of filmmaking grabbed me from the beautiful opening and held my attention and my emotions all the way through to the closing credits. I laughed, I cried, my heart was full. And what a treat to have Campion introduce the film for us. I love the WFS so much. I’m so incredibly grateful for WFS providing us unforgettable nights like this.”

Dame Jane was kind enough to sign a copy of the book An Angel at My Table by Janet Frame, which features an introduction by Dame Jane written in 2007. We’re going to give this away to a lucky member. Our supporter Unity Books, donated the book, and you can enter the giveaway draw on their page on our site.