21 Facts About Niki Caro


Nikola Jean Caro was born on 20 September 1966 and is a New Zealand film director and screenwriter.


Niki Caro directed the 2020 live action version of Disney's Mulan, making her the second female and the second New Zealand director hired by Disney to direct a film budgeted at over $100 million.


Niki Caro's works ranged from music videos, commercials, television dramas, and films, etc.


Niki Caro attended Kadimah College, Auckland, then Diocesan School for Girls, where she received an alumni award.


Niki Caro graduated with a BFA from the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland in 1988 and received a Postgraduate Diploma in Film from the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Niki Caro first found interest in working with metal sculptures, but later turned her interests toward film.


Niki Caro did not receive any formal training in the field, but instead began by reading narrative film books and writing rough drafts for scripts.


Niki Caro did not have any experience in directing, but it felt it was instinctual once she started working with the actors.


Niki Caro's focus then turned into TV dramas after producer Owen Hughes invited her to contribute to a trilogy of half-hour TV dramas in 1992.


The Summer the Queen Came, which was contributed by Niki Caro, earned three nominations at the 1994 NZ Film and Television Awards.


Niki Caro's acclaimed drama Plain Tastes was about a middle class woman searching for the ultimate happiness and love and was nominated for "Best Television Drama" and "Best Writer" at the 1996 NZ Film and Television Awards.


Niki Caro went on to write and direct Whale Rider, which is about a Maori girl that has to stand up against her grandfather and the other men in the tribe to show she can be as much of a leader as the boys who were being trained to be leaders.


Niki Caro says there is a Maori saying that "women lead from behind".


Niki Caro directed thirteen-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes to a performance nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress.


Niki Caro argued that despite being warned about the challenges of working with a Hollywood studio as a female filmmaker calling for women's rights, funders Warner Brothers "couldn't have been more respectful of my creative choices".


In 2013, Niki Caro planned to direct the film adaptation of The Zookeeper's Wife, based on Diane Ackerman's non-fiction book.


Niki Caro will be writing and directing the biographical film Callas, about the famous opera singer Maria Callas and her relationship with billionaire Aristotle Onassis.


In 2016, Marvel has decided to hire women filmmaker to direct the Super Hero movie Captain Marvel, while Niki Caro was one of the contenders with Jennifer Kent.


In February 2017, Niki Caro was hired to direct Disney's live-action adaptation of Mulan, which was released in 2020, to mixed reviews.


Niki Caro is the second woman at the studio to direct a film budgeted at over $100 million, after Ava DuVernay, and the second New Zealander, after Taika Waititi.


Niki Caro is married to architect Andrew Lister, and they have two daughters, Tui and Pearl.