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Philippa Campbell began her career in the theatre as an actor and director in the 1980s. In 1981 she was involved in establishing Taki Rua / The Depot in Wellington, the first professional theatre dedicated to New Zealand theatre and a key venue for indigenous and bicultural performances and theatrical development in the 1980s and 1990s. She was a member of Downstage Theatre Company. Campbell directed and helped to establish the Frontline theatre company.
Campbell has a long association with the New Zealand International Arts Festival, having worked on many productions commissioned by the festival, and has worked with well-known New Zealand playwrights including Hone Kouka, Briar Grace Smith, Victor Rodger, and Theatre at Large.
Film and Television
For several years in the 1980s Campbell ran Television New Zealand's (TVNZ) in-house Drama Department Script Unit, editing over 100 hours of television drama. Some of Campbell's script editing credits include New Zealand television shows and feature films such as Marlin Bay (1992-94), Mirror, Mirror (1995), Bread and Roses (1993), Erua (1988), Maurice Gee's The Fire Raiser (1986), and the award-winning Erebus: the Aftermath, written by Greg McGee. In 1988 she departed TVNZ to forge an independent career in television and film as a writer, script consultant, and development executive.
Campbell made a break into screen producing with the Banff Television Festival nominee for best drama, Swimming Lessons in 1995, written by Simon Wilson and directed by Steve LaHood.
Campbell's first feature film as producer was Via Satellite in 1998 (winner of two New Zealand Screen Awards), written and directed by Anthony McCarten, and produced by Campbell's new company, Escapade Pictures.
She followed up Via Satellite by producing Christine Jeffs' acclaimed Rain, which premiered in Director’s Fortnight in Cannes in 2002 and was nominated for Best Film at the 2001 New Zealand Film Awards.
In 2006 Campbell co-produced No. 2 (released in North America under the title Naming Number Two), written and directed by Toa Fraser. Starring Academy Award nominee Ruby Dee, the film won the Audience Award in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic section, the Audience Award at the Brisbane International Film Festival, four awards at the New Zealand Film Awards, and featured in gala screenings at the London Film Festival.
In 2007 Campbell produced Jonathan King's comic-horror film Black Sheep, an audience favourite at the Toronto International Film Festival. Black Sheep is the second-highest grossing New Zealand film in the UK, and the highest grossing New Zealand horror film in New Zealand.
In 2008, Campbell produced Florian Habicht’s documentary Rubbings From a Live Man, performed by Warwick Broadhead, which was nominated for Best Picture (budget under $1 million) at the 2008 Qantas Film and Television Awards. After Rubbings from a Live Man, Campbell produced a short film directed by Dan Salmon, Licked.
Campbell has consulted to screen production development workshops in New Zealand, Australia, India, and Italy.
Campbell continues to pursue a number of creative projects including Shiver, written and directed by Christina Andreef and set in Antarctica, and a NZ/UK co-production, The Beach of Falesa, adapted by Alan Sharp from the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, to be directed by Toa Fraser. She is the Executive Producer for Paolo Rotundo's film Orphans and Kingdoms.
In 2015, Campbell formed a new Auckland-based production company, Field Theory, with producers Fiona Copeland and Tim Sanders, chief executive Lyoyd Meiklejohn, and consultant Michael Eldred. Field Theory is focused on high-end film and television for the international market.
Philippa Campbell was born in 1955 in Auckland, New Zealand and grew up in Lower Hutt and Wellington, New Zealand. Campbell attended Hutt Valley High School and has a B.A. in English Literature, Philosophy, and Drama from Victoria University of Wellington. She is an acting graduate of Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School, where she trained under George Webby.
Filmography (selected titles)
- Orphans and Kingdoms (2013) ... Executive Producer
- Top of the Lake (2012–13) [six-part feature-length television drama] .... Producer
- Rubbings From a Live Man (2008) .... Producer
- Black Sheep (2007) .... Producer
- No. 2 (2006) .... Producer
- Rain (2001) .... Producer
- Via Satellite (1998) .... Producer
- Swimming Lessons (telefeature) (1995) .... Associate Producer
- Philippa Campbell at the Internet Movie Database
- Auckland Theatre Company http://www.atc.co.nz/literary/overview
- Variety magazine http://variety.com/2006/scene/people-news/philippa-campbell-1117949643/