Jan Chapman is one of Australia’s best known producers, with 23 credits to her name. Films produced by Chapman include The Last Days of Chez Nous starring Bruno Ganz (for which she was nominated for the Best Picture at the AFI Awards in 1992), The Piano starring Holly Hunter and Sam Neill (for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture), Love Serenade starring Miranda Otto, Holy Smoke! starring Kate Winslet, and Lantana starring Anthony LaPaglia and Kerry Armstrong. Chapman most recently produced The Daughter (2014) and was an executive producer on the acclaimed horror movie The Babadook.
Chapman met her first husband, film director Phillip Noyce, whilst studying English and Fine Arts at university in the late 1960s. It was during this period that she began working on small, independent films, as part of the Sydney Filmmakers Co-op. In the early 1970s she directed short fiction films and documentaries. Later, she worked in the education department of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and began producing television series, including Sweet and Sour.
She’s been a strong advocate for women in film. “Without the influence and political lobbying of these women I don’t believe I would have had the subconscious conviction...that I could make films, and that what I wanted to say, even if intimate, domestic and personal in scale, was just as interesting as the mythic male legends,” Chapman said in a 2002 Women Australia interview.