Horror films don’t typically capture top honors at film festivals, but this past January, history was made when an African horror film, Nanny, was awarded the grand jury prize for drama at Sundance.
A visually beautiful film by Nikyatu Jusu, it tells the story of an undocumented Senegalese immigrant working as a nanny for an affluent couple in New York.
Recently acquired for worldwide distribution by Blumhouse and Amazon Prime Video, Nanny is rooted in the horror genre and thus is positioned to attract a wide audience when it is released.
But it is the African inspirations and Jusu’s commitment to authenticity that give the film its unique identity. In telling this culturally-specific story spanning two continents, Jusu is able to do something that is important to her: use filmmaking to bridge the gaps between Africa and the diaspora, particularly with African-Americans.