Filmed on location in New Zealand.
THE PIANO tied with Chen Kaige's FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE for the Palme d'Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. Jane Campion was the first female to ever win this prestigious award.
The film has scenes in which the dialogue is in Maori and in which Ada communicates with her daughter in sign language; these scenes are subtitled.
Holly Hunter did the solo piano playing herself (for the soundtrack as well as for the camera) and is also credited as piano coach for the production.
Harvey Keitel has a full-frontal nude scene in this film. Also in 1993 he appeared in Abel Ferrara's BAD LIEUTENANT, in which he also had a full-frontal nude scene. This was a big year for Keitel's career as a result of these two critically praised films, and homage was paid in the press to his fearlessly "naked" style of acting.
THE PIANO won the following awards in 1993: The American Film Institute Awards for Best Acievement in Cinematography (Stuart Dryburgh), Costume Design (Janet Patterson), Editing (Veronika Jenet), Production Design (Andrew McAlpine), Sound (Gethin Creagh, Tony Johnson, Annabelle Sheehan, Lee Smith, Peter Townend); Best Actor (Harvey Keitel), Best Actress (Holly Hunter), Best Director, and Best Picture. Holly Hunter also won the Goldon Globe, Boston Society of Film Critics Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, National Society of Film Critics, the London Film Critics Circle, the New York Film Critic's Circle, and the Chicago Film Critic's Association Award for Best Actress, as well as the Best Actress Award at Cannes. Campion won for Best Screenplay at the National Socitety of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the Australian Film Institute. THE PIANO won the Independent Spirit Award and Cesar Award, the Chicago Film Critics Association for Best Foregin Film. Michael Nyman won the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Score.
Ken Durey and Waynne Rugg were the special effects coordinators and Tad Pride created the underwater special effects; Peter Long did the title design; Mary-Anne Schultz did the film's choreography; John Harle, David Roach, and Andrew Findon played saxophone on the film's soundtrack.
Nokiro Watanabe, who did the makeup and hair, is married to actor Sam Neill, who plays Stewart; she is a third-generation Japanese makeup artist.
Cannes Palme d'Or 1993
Academy Awards Best Actress 1993 Holly Hunter American Actress, RAISING ARIZONA (1987)
Cannes Best Actress 1993 Holly Hunter American Actress, RAISING ARIZONA (1987)
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress 1993 Anna Paquin Oscar winning Actress, THE PIANO
Academy Awards Best Original Screenplay 1993 Jane Campion Nz Director/In Australia