November 4, 2012

Sundance Channel Signs on to Co-produce Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake

Seven Part Mini-series From See-saw Films to Be Directed by Oscar® Winner Jane Campion;

Written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee

Acclaimed Cast Includes Three-time Emmy® Nominated Elisabeth Moss, Oscar® Winner

Holly Hunter and BAFTA® Nominee Peter Mullan

New York, NY – Sundance Channel announced today it has signed with BBC Worldwide to co-produce Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, an original scripted project.  The seven part mini-series will be directed by Oscar® winner Jane Campion (“The Piano,” “Portrait of a Lady”) and Australian director Garth Davis,and written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee (“Sweetie”).  The project stars SAG® winner and three time Emmy® nominated actress Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men,” “On the Road”).   Holly Hunter, who won a Best Actress Oscar® for her performance in Campion’s “The Piano,” also stars alongside BAFTA® nominee Peter Mullan (“War Horse,” “Trainspotting”) and AFI Award winning actor David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings, Australia).

The announcement comes on the heels of two Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award for Sundance Channel’s first scripted drama “Carlos,” as well as the recently announced scripted dramas “Rectify” and “Appropriate Adult.

Produced by Academy Award® winners Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s SpeechShame) of See-Saw Films, and Philippa Campbell (Black Sheep) of Escapade Pictures, Top of the Lake is a powerful and haunting mystery about the search for happiness in a paradise where honest work is hard to find.  Set in the remote mountains of New Zealand, the story follows the disappearance of a five months pregnant 12-year-old named Tui who was last seen standing chest deep in a frozen lake. In this classic mythic struggle, investigating detective, Robin Griffin (Moss), must lose herself in order to find the missing girl.  During the investigation, she collides with Matt Mitcham (Mullan), Tui’s father, a local drug lord, and G.J (Hunter), a guru at a local women’s camp.  Robin will find this the case that tests her limits and sends her on a journey of self-discovery.

Sarah Barnett, General Manager and EVP of Sundance Channel commented, “’Top of the Lake is an emotional exploration into the depths of the human spirit.  We are thrilled to collaborate with visionary Jane Campion and embark on another scripted project featuring top talent and engaging original storytelling.”

Jane Campion states, “I am in love with the intense beauty of southern most New Zealand and am excited to be setting a story in this end of the world paradise. To be able to tell the story over seven hours gives myself and my brilliant team a chance to make something truly absorbing and memorable”.

Emile Sherman and Iain Canning commented, “We are so 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.”

Top of the Lake Executive Producer for Sundance Channel is Christian Vesper. Top of the Lake is co-produced by Sundance Channel, BBC TWO, and UKTV in Australia and New Zealand. The deal was brokered by Jemma Adkins, SVP, TV Sales & Co-Productions – Fiction, BBC Worldwide Americas.  BBC Worldwide distributes the television series internationally.

The series, written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, and directed by Jane Campion and Australian director Garth Davis, will commence filming in February 2012 in Queenstown, New Zealand, marking the first production Jane Campion will film in her homeland since 1993’s “The Piano.”