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  • Writer's pictureKhepra Akanke

Women's History Spotlight: Nikyatu Jusu

As we continue to celebrate Women's History Month, we want to spotlight a talented filmmaker making waves in the industry. Nikyatu Jusu is a Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker based in Baltimore, best known for her work in exploring the complexities of dynamic Black female characters.

Jusu's filmmaking journey began when she earned her M.F.A. in Film Production from the Tisch Graduate Film Program at New York University. She was awarded the Spike Lee Fellowship and the Princess Grace Narrative Film Grant during her time there. Her work has since been featured in festivals across the globe, including at the Sundance Film Festival, where her debut feature Nanny won the Grand Jury Prize (U.S. Dramatic).

Nanny, tells the story of Aisha, a Senegalese nanny working for a wealthy white couple in New York City. As she longs to be reunited with her son back home, supernatural occurrences begin to haunt her, forcing her to confront the ghosts of her past. It was also the first horror film directed by a black woman to win this prestigious award.

Jusu's work often tackles themes such as race, nationality, sexuality, and mental health. She aspires to create work that balances social resonance and engaging storytelling. Her goal is to center Black women's bodies and portray the nuances of the Black experience in her futuristic and fantastical worlds.

One of her upcoming projects is a sequel to the 1968 zombie classic Night of the Living Dead. Jusu will direct the film, while LaToya Morgan of The Walking Dead will write the script. The film will expand on the original film's story and will center on Black characters.

Nikyatu Jusu is an incredibly talented filmmaker. Her work sheds light on underrepresented voices and challenges societal norms. We can't wait to see what she has for us next.

Nanny is available for streaming on Amazon Prime. We think fans of suspense and horror will love it.

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