Jane Campion wins Oscar for Best Director with The Power of the Dog

New Zealander Dame Jane Campion has made history at the 94th Academy Awards by winning Best Director with her western The Power of the Dog.

The film led nominees going into the Oscars with a total of 12 nods, but lost in all other categories.

Dame Jane was the first woman to be nominated twice for Best Director and is only the third woman in Oscars history to win.

"Kia ora, kia ora Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. I love directing because it's a deep dive into story, yet the task of manifesting a world can be overwhelming. The sweet thing is, I'm not alone," said Dame Jane as she won Best Director.

"On The Power of the Dog I worked with actors I'm moved to call my friends. They met the challenge of this story with the depth of their gifts - Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jesse Plemons. And my whole crew who are true hearts.

"Netflix your whole awesome team embraced this film from the very beginning, thank you so very much.

"And my home people, my family - you know who you are. Especially Alice my daughter, who is here. Tony my beautiful partner, you gave me so much love and encouragement, and made it fun!  

"But it would be impossible without the man I never met, [The Power of the Dog novel author] Thomas Savage. He wrote about cruelty, wanting the opposite kindness.

"Thank you Academy, it's a lifetime honour. Thank you."

The Power of the Dog and its writer/director have had a stunning award season, piling up trophies at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Critics Choice Awards, the Venice Film Festival and Directors Guild of America Awards.

Dame Jane won an Oscar in 1994 for her The Piano screenplay, but lost Best Director to Steven Spielberg who won with Schindler's List.

This year, she was up against Spielberg again who was nominated for Best Director with West Side Story, but she won.

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