Philippa Campbell was born in Auckland in 1955 and grew up in Lower Hutt and Wellington, New Zealand. Campbell attended Hutt Valley High School, has a B.A. in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington and is an acting graduate of Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School.
Campbell began her career in the theatre as an actor and director in the 1980s. In 1981 she was involved in establishing Taki Rua / The Depot in Wellington, the first professional theatre dedicated to New Zealand theatre and a key venue for bi-cultural performances and development in the 1980s and 1990s.
For several years Campbell ran Television New Zealand / TVNZ's in-house Drama Department Script Unit. Some of Campbell's script editing credits include New Zealand television shows and feature films such as MIRROR MIRROR (1995), BREAD AND ROSES (1993), Maurice Gee's THE FIRE RAISER (1986), and the award-winning EREBUS: THE AFTERMATH. In 1988 she departed TVNZ to forge a career in television and film as a writer, script consultant and development executive.
Campbell made a break into producing with the Banff Television Festival nominee for best drama, SWIMMING LESSONS in 1995, written by Simon Wilson and directed by Steve LaHood.
Campbell's first feature film as producer was VIA SATELLITE in 1998 (winner of two New Zealand Screen Awards), written and directed by Anthony McCarten. She followed up by producing Christine Jeffs' acclaimed RAIN, which premiered in Director's Fortnight in Cannes in 2002.
In 2006 Campbell co-produced NO. 2 (released in North America under the title NAMING NUMBER TWO), written and directed by Toa Fraser. Starring Academy Award nominee Ruby Dee, the film won the Audience Award in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Dramatic section, the Audience Award at the Brisbane International Film Festival, four awards at the New Zealand Film Awards, and featured in gala screenings at the London Film Festival.
In 2007 Campbell produced Jonathan King's comic-horror film BLACK SHEEP, an audience favourite at the Toronto International Film Festival. That same year she was included in Variety's "10 Producers to Watch" list.
Philippa remains dedicated to telling the stories of New Zealand and the South Pacific on stage and screen and continues to pursue a number of creative projects, including a NZ/UK co-production, THE BEACH OF FALESA. Since November 2008 Campbell has been the Literary Manager of the Auckland Theatre Company.