Still from Picnic at Hanging Rock
Image courtesy of Variety

Larysa Kondracki '01 (GS) to Direct Mini-Series, 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'

February 21, 2018

UPDATE: Picnic at Hanging Rock showed in April at Tribeca Film Festival


Alumna Larysa Kondracki '01 will direct three episodes of the much anticipated TV mini-series Picnic at Hanging Rock, which ​will premiere in May 2018. Kondracki graduated from Columbia's General Studies college in 2001 and studied in the MFA Film program until 2006. The mini-series, which will include six episodes in total, is a re-imagining of Australian author Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel, which “chronicles the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and one teacher on Valentine’s Day 1900,” according to Variety. “The complex, interwoven narrative follows the subsequent investigation and the event’s far-reaching impact on the students, families, and staff of Appleyard College and on the nearby township.”


While Picnic at Hanging Rock will first premiere in Australia, Amazon has acquired rights to the show, as well as BBC and Deutsche Telekom in Germany, according to Variety and Deadline


The show will star actress Natalie Dormer, who played Margaret Tyrell in the TV show Game of Thrones. Dormer stated initially feeling skeptical about acting in another period drama, but was won over by Kondracki’s vision for the mini-series. “This couldn’t be further from a standard costume drama,” said Dormer in Variety. “What they’ve done is sunk into the weirdness and darkness of Joan Lindsay’s novel. I realized that [Kondraki] would do everything she could to push the envelope of reality and magical realism, and really take the audience on a surreal ride. And I realized it was something… tonally, stylistically, that I had never been involved with before.”

Kondracki, who is from Toronto, Canada, directed episodes for shows such as FX’s Legion, Fox’s Gotham, AMC’s The Walking Dead, and USA Network’s Graceland, among others. She wrote, produced, and directed The Whistleblower (2010), her first feature film, which starred the actress Rachel Weisz.