Stay Gold Features and Topic Studios have teamed up to finance and produce Nanny, a horror film written and directed by Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu, in her feature directorial debut. Nikkia Moulterie (Random Acts of Flyness) and Stay Gold’s Daniela Taplin Lundberg (Harriet, Honey Boy) are producing the project, which will begin shooting this June in New York City.
The script landed on the 2020 Black List and was also selected for the 2019 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab & Summit, Sundance’s 2020 Writer’s Lab, and the 2020 Director’s Lab. Nanny, which is also being financed by LinLay, follows Aisha, an undocumented nanny caring for a privileged child on the Upper East Side of New York City. As she prepares for the arrival of the son she left behind in West Africa, a violent supernatural presence invades her reality, threatening the American Dream she’s painstakingly pieced together.
Said Jusu, “Somali-British poet Warsan Shire states, ‘no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.’ Nanny is my attempt to make sense of the displacement, the nostalgia immigrant women carry as they forge inexorably new lives in America. Our mothers sacrificed so much in order for us to essentially create ourselves, and though the real life horror of that sacrifice manifests in the form of living breathing monsters in Nanny, my goal is for audiences to leave our film with a sense of hopefulness. Women like my protagonist Aisha, my mother and perhaps your mothers, refused to succumb to a society never intended for their success but rather empowered themselves with a narrative of survival that equipped them to thrive, to fly, to survive.”
Executive producers are Maria Zuckerman, Ryan Heller, and Michael Bloom for Topic Studios (The Mauritanian, Leave No Trace), Rebecca Cammarata (Harriet, Honey Boy) of Stay Gold, Sumalee Montano (This is Us) and Grace Lay of LinLay as well as Jusu.
Jusu’s short film Suicide By Sunlight, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019. Repped by CAA, M88, and Granderson Des Rochers, she has also directed an episode for the CW anthology horror series Two Sentence Horror Stories.