Movies Directed by Nikyatu Jusu so far

December 17, 2022
Louie Fecou 0
Features, RSC Originals

Movies Directed by Nikyatu Jusu so far. We deep dive into the rising film professional and their potential career trajectory. 

Every now and then, an indie filmmaker just seems to be able to do it all. Nikyatu Jusu is a writer, director, producer, editor, and assistant professor in film and video at George Mason University. Nikyatu Jusu has made short films that focus on complex black female characters and received a master of fine arts degree in Film/Cinema/Video Studies in 2011.

With the news that Night of the Living Dead, the classic 1968  zombie film from George Romero, was to get a sequel broke, speculation about the director was, of course, huge. Well, the job is going to Nikyatu Jusu, so in a tried and true fashion, we thought we could check out some of the things we know about this talented professor and filmmaker and get a feel for what we can expect from this long-awaited sequel. 

Who is Nikyatu Jusu?

Filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents hailed from Sierra Leone, and she originally studied to be a biomedical engineer in North Carolina. Her attention was grabbed by a professor (also a screenwriter) that launched Jusu into the world of film.

This change in direction found her at New York University’s Tisch film school, and it was here in 2011 that she would receive a degree in Film Cinema and Video Studies.

In 2008 as part of her studies, Jusu made her first short movie entitled African Booty Scratcher.  The film was based on some of her own life experiences and was a second-year project for her at NYU Tisch. When the film was picked up by HBO, along with some of her other short features, it seemed her pathway was set.

Nikyatu would excel in her filmmaking, and after honing her skills in a number of short films, she would write and direct her first feature film, Nanny. The film was well received and was a project that had been worked on over an eight-year period. Nikyatu wanted to combine folklore with a modern premise, such as an undocumented immigrant finding work in New York. African mythology plays a part in the film; Mami Wata and Anansi are spirits that become pivotal to the plot of Nanny. 

Nikyatu is an assistant professor at George Mason University and teaches a course that she created in Afrofuturism. The course involves studying the works of Jordan Peele and Ryan Coogler.

Movies Directed by Nikyatu Jusu so far

Short Films 

  • African Booty Scratcher (2007) – Writer/Director
  • Train (2010) – Editor
  • Say Grace Before Drowning (2010) – Writer/Director
  • Black Swan Theory (2011) Writer/Director
  • Flowers (2015) Writer/Director
  • Suicide by Sunlight (2017) Writer/Director 

Feature Films

  • Nanny (2022) – Writer Director 

What movie is Nikyatu Jusu known for?

Nikyatu Jusu is most well known for her work on the film Nanny. The film was produced by Stay Gold Features and Topic Studio and was her first feature production. Jason Blum of Blumhouse Studios was also on board as an executive producer. The horror film won the coveted Grand Jury Prize at The Sundance Film Festival in 2022.

Notably, this was the first time that a horror movie would take that prize. The film would then go on to have a limited release at cinemas before being dropped on the streaming platform Amazon Prime Video on December 16th, 2022.

The film garnered a lot of attention after winning at Sundance, leading to many people wanting to check it out.

The short cinema run also helped make this the feature that Nikyatu would become most linked with. The film itself follows the story of Aisha, an undocumented immigrant that is trying to make a new life for herself in New York. Aisha finds work for a wealthy family. A businesswoman and a photojournalist that works mainly in war zones employ Aisha.

Her job, of course, is to be a nanny for their daughter. She hopes that the money that she makes from the job will allow her to bring her son to America to be with her. Tensions rise as the volatile home life of the family becomes unsettling, and events conspire against her.

As she prepares for her son’s arrival, scary noises, night terrors, a violent presence, and a hidden secret look are set to disrupt Aisha’s plans.

The film is a supernatural horror, but like all good scary movies, there is a subtext here, and Nanny touches on the nature of immigrant workers in America. With Nikyatu set to direct the sequel to Night of the Living Dead, it would appear that her indie status may be coming to an end.

Final negotiations are taking place for the worldwide rights to the film, and it looks like MGM might be in line to be the winner. This film will definitely be the most high-profile project for the writer-director and could propel her to A-list status, although it may not be one that she will accept.

In various interviews, Nikyatu has stated a reluctance to embrace the Hollywood lifestyle, but compromise may have to be reached due to the nature of mainstream film production in the US.

Something is satisfying about an indie filmmaker like Nikyatu Jusu being brought on board to direct a sequel to another indie film from 1968 that would catapult that director George Romero to worldwide status. If this sequel works, it could be a life-changing moment in the extraordinary life of Nikyatu, bringing her to the attention of millions of new fans.

And that’s a wrap on the Movies Directed by Nikyatu Jusu so far. What are your thoughts on this upcoming director? Comment below.

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