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Niki Caro (born 1967) is film director, producer and screenwriter who was born in Wellington, New Zealand. Her 2002 film Whale Rider was critically praised and won a number of awards at international film festivals. Caro graduated with a BFA from the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland in 1988, and received an MFA from Swinburne University of Technology. Caro first found interest in working with metal sculptures, but later changed in it to film. Caro taught was self taught in film through only reading narrative film books. She started out with writing and once she was done writing a script, her mother typed it up for her at work. Her first experience with a professional production company was when she wrote and directed for the television series, Another Country. She did not have any experience in directing, but it felt it was instinctual once she started working with the actors. Her first film, Memory and Desire, was chosen for the New Zealand Prestigious Critics week in 1998. In 1999 the movie was voted best new film at the New Zealand Film Awards.