Jane Campion's Top Of The Lake for BBC Two

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."Jane Campion
Date: 04.11.2011     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.14
Category: BBC Two; Drama
The upcoming drama, Top Of The Lake, directed by Oscar-winner Jane Campion (The Piano, Portrait Of A Lady) and rising Australian director Garth Davis, will feature an esteemed ensemble of award-winning talent.

The cast includes SAG winner and three time Emmy-nominated actress Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, On The Road), Holly Hunter, Best Actress Oscar winner for her performance in Campion's The Piano, BAFTA-nominee Peter Mullan (War Horse, Trainspotting) and AFI Award-winning actor David Wenham (The Lord Of The Rings, Australia).

The six-part drama (6x60, 7x50) for transmission in early 2013 will be co-produced by BBC Two, UKTV in Australia and New Zealand and Sundance Channel in the United States. Screen Australia, Screen NSW and Fulcrum Media Finance are providing investment and finance. BBC Worldwide will distribute the television series internationally and also wholly owns UKTV in Australia and New Zealand.

Produced by Academy Award-winners Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech, Shame) 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.

Writer and director Jane Campion said: “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 six 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.”

They added: “We are also thrilled to be working for the first time with the BBC Two, who commissioned development of the series, as well as with UKTV, Sundance Channel and BBC Worldwide, all of whom have unequivocally embraced Jane's vision."

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “Jane Campion is a storyteller like no other. We are delighted to bring to screen an unforgettable landscape and characters who are unique, original and yet utterly recognizable – this is a story which will touch us all.”

Deirdre Brennan, Director of TV for BBC Worldwide Australia, says: ‘Top of the Lake is a unique creative collaboration, a truly international project that showcases a remarkable production team, cast and location. It is an honour to play a part in bringing this landmark drama series exclusively to UKTV audiences in Australia and New Zealand."

Sarah Barnett, General Manager and EVP of Sundance Channel, says “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.”

The series, written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, will commence filming in February 2012 in Queenstown, New Zealand, marking the first TV production Jane Campion will film in her homeland. Commissioned for BBC Two by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning and Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two.