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After Best Director Win, Jane Campion says Equity in Hollywood ‘Moving Fast’

The "Power of the Dog" helmer is only the third woman to win Best Director in the Oscar's 94-year history.

Jane Campion accepts the Directing award for ‘The Power of the Dog’ onstage at the 94th Academy Awards held at Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center on March 27th, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Jane Campion a

Christopher Polk for Variety

The Power of the Dog” director Jane Campion made history Sunday when she became the third-ever woman to win the Best Director Oscar in the Academy Awards’ 94-year run. But the way Campion sees it, the tide is quickly changing and there will soon be more women to be honored with the awards.

After accepting her award, Campion headed backstage where she was quickly asked about the significance of her win.

“I’m proud to have won tonight, for my film and my crew and my cast, but also to be another woman who’s going to be be followed by a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, a seventh, and an eighth,” she said. “I’m very excited by the fact that this is moving fast now. We need it. Equity matters.”

The first woman to win Best Director was Kathryn Bigelow, who won for 2009’s “The Hurt Locker.” Chloé Zhao came next over a decade later, with last year’s win for “Nomadland.”

Campion bested Kenneth Branagh, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Steven Spielberg in a stacked category. This marks her second Oscar win, after winning Best Original Screenplay in 1994 for “The Piano.” That film also earned Campion her first Best Director nod; she’s the first woman to be nominated in the category twice.

Campion, however, says she often doesn’t think about the genders of artists.

“I really love great work, when people do it, I don’t care who they are or where they come from. I’m just moved by it,” she said. “What I guess is very gratifying is that very often these days it’s women, because they felt this energy that they’ve been emboldened, I think, by the #MeToo movement to feel this is their time.”

Sian Heder, who won for Best Adapted Screenplay for “CODA,” said backstage that Campion was an inspiration for her.

“I came up watching Jane Campion, I came up watching other filmmakers and understanding that this was something that I could do because I saw someone that looked like me doing it. I hope I can be that for the new generation of young women out there, and for indie filmmakers,” she said.

Only seven other women have ever been nominated for Best Director: Lina Wertmüller (1976′s “Seven Beauties”), Sofia Coppola (2003′s “Lost in Translation”), Bigelow (2009′s “The Hurt Locker”), Greta Gerwig (2017′s “Lady Bird”), Emerald Fennell (2020’s “Promising Young Woman”), and Zhao (2020’s “Nomadland”).

“The Power of the Dog” premiered last year at Venice, where Campion won the Silver Lion for Best Direction. The Netflix feature went on to screen at TIFF, Telluride, and a range of other festivals. Over the past few months, the film has proven to be a juggernaut in the awards race, picking up wins from both awards bodies and critics groups over the course of a protract season.

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