Niki Caro Biography

Niki Caro photo

Born: January 01, 1967


Date of Birth: 1967

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Niki Caro received a BFA at the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland and a Postgraduate Diploma in Film from Swinburne in Melbourne. She began her career doing TV commercials for companies such as New Zealand Land Transport Safety Authority, Nike and Tower Insurance. Her short film, Sure to Rise (1994), was nominated for a Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.

She followed that up with the television drama The Summer The Queen Came, which received best writer and best director nominations at the 1994 New Zealand Film and Television Awards. Her 1996 short film Footage was an Official Selection at the Venice Film Festival.

Caro's first feature, Memory and Desire (1997), was in the lineup at the Cannes Film Festival and won a Special Jury Prize at the New Zealand Film Awards. She went on to write and direct the one hour TV drama Plain Tastes and a half-hour episode of the drama series True Life Stories.

But it was her second feature film, Whale Rider (2002), which won Caro worldwide acclaim. Caro adapted the screenplay from Maori author Witi Ihimaera's acclaimed novel of the same name. She also directed the film, which became New Zealand's most financially successful movie. Caro and Whale Rider have won and/or been nominated for over 50 international awards, including audience awards at prestigious international film festivals such as Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Seattle, Maui and Lake Placid.

With North Country (2005), starring Charlize Theron, Caro directed her first movie for which she hadn't written the screenplay. Another first was that it was filmed in the United States, on location in northern Minnesota.

Caro is married to architect Andrew Lister, with whom she has a young daughter.


North Country(2005)
Whale Rider(2002)
Memory & Desire (1997)

Change Location