Spotlighting Nia DaCosta #WomenWednesdays

29 September 2021

It's #WomenWednesdays, and today we're spotlighting the female American filmmaker Nia DaCosta, who directed this year's hotly anticipated, Jordan-Peele produced, horror movie 'Candyman'!  

Image credits © Philip Daniel-Ducasse and Pat Martin

The film acts as a spiritual sequel to Bernard Rose's beloved 1992 production; honouring the legacy of the original, whilst reinventing and reimagining the story for a contemporary audience. 'Candyman' tells the story of Anthony McCoy, a struggling artist who finds inspiration in the terrifying mythological story of a supernatural killer with a hooked hand.  

Image credits: © Parrish Lewis/Universal Pictures/MGM Pictures 
DaCosta has spoken about her desire to maintain the dark, Gothic nature of the original film, whilst at the same time expand the presentation of McCoy as the film's central antihero. She has also discussed how her interest in the function of storytelling in modern culture inspired her making of the film:  

For me, the film is really about how storytelling is used around these horrific events, to either help process, or to campaign, or to create a martyr out of people who ended up leaving us too soon through these terrible acts of racial violence. That sounds specific, but it also has so many facets to it - how does storytelling operate in our culture and how does storytelling operate, to the point of getting us a character like Candyman?

Nia DaCosta

Image credits: © Universal Pictures 

As a woman from an ethnic minority group, DaCosta has been vocal about the racist comments she has faced as a filmmaker within the industry, as well as the problematic lack of ethnic minority filmmakers involved at the level of decision-making in the production process. DaCosta told The Guardian:  

It's not necessarily overtly racist, but it is shocking the way people have talked to me in my position as a director. People who work for me. And that's unacceptable, frankly.

Nia DaCosta

Image credits: © Parrish Lewis/Universal Pictures/MGM Pictures 

Despite her unjust treatment within the industry, DaCosta has made history with the release of 'Candyman’, becoming the first black female director to have a feature debut in the top spot of US Box Office. Universal Pictures announced that the film made $22 million over its opening weekend, making it the second highest-grossing opening movie for a black female director, after Ava DuVernay’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’. DaCosta will next direct ‘The Marvels’, the Marvel Studios follow-up to 2019’s ‘Captain Marvel’, following in the footsteps of Chloé Zhao and Cate Shortland, as pioneering women who have directed movies within the canon of the Marvel cinematic universe.  

DaCosta is making incredible waves with her feature filmmaking, and continuing to push forward the conversation about diversity and representation within the film industry, making her the perfect focus for this week's #WomenWednesdays!  

Have you seen #Candyman in the cinema yet? What do you think of this spiritual sequel? Let us know on social media, and don’t forget to share this post to keep the conversation going! 

Do you have a favourite female filmmaker, past or present, who you would like us to spotlight in the future? Let us know by contacting, or messaging us on social media!