Filmmaker, Nikyatu Jusu is no stranger to accepting awards.
Based in New York City, she’s already gotten a Spike Lee Fellowship Award, HBO short film award and Princess Grace Narrative film grant. But her latest win —with co-writer R. Shanea Williams— will help her make a film we can’t wait to see.
Suicide by Sunlight, written by Jusu and Williams is about Valentina, a day-walking Black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin. In the film, Valentina finds it difficult to suppress her bloodlust when a new woman is brought around her estranged twin daughters.
The writers were awarded by Tribeca Enterprises and CHANEL a production grant from the Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program on Friday. After a three-day workshop, their film was judged by a jury of producers to make the final cut.
“We are so thankful that Tribeca and CHANEL are supporting urgent and much needed voices,” said Nikyatu Jusu and R. Shanea Williams.
“We are excited to explore the intersectionality of social issues and genre through the lens of black vampires daywalking in NYC. We aimed to remix the vampire genre and turn disenfranchisement on its head with Black vampires who could ‘pass’ as human during the day —protected by their melanin.”