Jane Campion: Netflix being “more fussy” bad for the cinema

While Campion believes the company will continue to fund its projects, she says “the sad thing is not taking risks on nameless people”.

Jeanne Campion

Sipa USA via AP

Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed western drama “The Power of the Dog” may have been Netflix’s strongest Oscar contender yet. The film was considered the favorite to win Best Picture for much of last year’s awards season, narrowly losing the grand prize to ‘CODA’ while taking home Best Director. for the acclaimed filmmaker.

But despite the film’s success, Campion worries about the streaming giant’s future. Amid slow subscriber growth and a plummeting stock price, Netflix has signaled that it plans to adjust its movie strategy by funding fewer expensive high-profile projects. “I think they’re going to be more picky about other projects,” Campion said in a new interview with BBC. “Maybe the sad thing is not taking chances on nameless people.”

Campion fears the move will result in fewer filmmakers benefiting from important opportunities like the one she received, though she believes her existing relationship with the streamer means the changes won’t affect her. “I don’t think it would be difficult for me if I wanted to do something because I’ve established a relationship and they’re incredibly loyal,” she said.

Despite his belief that Netflix would gladly fund another project of his own, Campion has no plans to make another movie any time soon. Instead, the two-time Oscar winner is focusing on the Aotearoa Pop Up Film Intensive, a new pop-up film school she founded in New Zealand with funding from Netflix.

And despite the company’s recent financial struggles, she appreciates that Netflix has been steadfast in supporting the company. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, they could take the money out, they can’t figure it out,'” she said. “But I’m really glad they don’t.”

Campion hopes the intensity of directing will help open doors for talented filmmakers who might not otherwise have had the resources to pursue a film career.

“You don’t need to have a preferred route to participate and you don’t have to pay a fee, so it’s free, plus you get paid to go. So the hope is that we will create a level playing field for talent,” she said. “Right now, I really feel this desire to give back to the next generation and I feel like, wow this really sucks, education these days. There’s not enough funding for that. How do people are they supposed to get into it? I really don’t like it. And if I have the power to do anything, which I seem to have, I’d like to change it.

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