Sundance Channel has closed a deal with BBC Worldwide to co-produce and distribute in the U.S. Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake miniseries for BBC Two. Oscar winner Campion (The Piano) and Australian director Garth Davis will direct the seven-part mini written by Campion and Gerard Lee (Sweetie). Joining star Elisabeth Moss are Holly Hunter, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Campion’s The Piano; Peter Mullan (War Horse); and David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings). Oscar winners Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech) of See-Saw Films and Philippa Campbell of Escapade Pictures are producing Top Of The Lake, which will be made available in both seven-hour (with commercials) and six-hour (without) formats.
The mini is set in the remote mountains of New Zealand and follows the disappearance of a five-months pregnant 12-year-old named Tui who was last seen standing chest-deep in a frozen lake. 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. The case testes Robin’s limits and sends her on a journey of self-discovery. “Top Of The Lake is an emotional exploration into the depths of the human spirit,” said Sarah Barnett, General Manager and EVP of Sundance Channel. Filming on the mini will begin in February in Queenstown, New Zealand, marking the first production Campion will film in her homeland since 1993’s The Piano. “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,” she said.