Our spotlight on this year’s new Academy members continues with three diverse talents from different facets of the industry, all working behind the camera to bring new stories to life that illuminate aspects of the human experience.

Nia DaCosta

A new addition to the Directors Branch, Nia will be hitting theaters soon with her revisit to the iconic horror character of Candyman and was brought on by Marvel to helm the upcoming feature The Marvels. Before they arrive, be sure to take a look at her acclaimed debut film …

Little Woods 

An award-winning hit at Tribeca, this North Dakota-set character study follows two sisters (Tessa Thompson and Lily James) forced to confront some tough life choices when their mother dies. Along the way they become involved in the drug trade across the U.S. northern border while also dealing with the issue of reproductive rights.


As a teaser for the full-length horror film marking the return to the screen of one of urban folklore’s most infamous figures, Nia crafted a shadow puppet origin short film you can watch here, providing a poetic and creative prologue to the upcoming main event. Take a look for a (honey-flavored) taste of what you can expect.

Isabel Muñoz

Now a member of the Sound Branch, Isabel got her start in 1999 working as a sound mixer and boom operator on a number of short films in Mexico. Traversing the worlds of television as well as documentary and narrative features and shorts, she is now in high demand with several upcoming projects due to be released over the next year. For a sample of her work, take a look at …


One of Isabel’s earliest narrative features was this unflinching look at the efforts to uncover the horrific fates of hundreds of women who went missing or turned up murdered over the years around Juarez, Mexico. Shot on location and directed by Carlos Carrera, the film takes a quasi-documentary approach to the attempts of an investigating detective played by Ana de la Reguera to break through the walls of corruption and obstruction behind the atrocities.

The 4th Company 

Mitzi Vanessa Arreola and Amir Galván Cervera’s fact-based crime drama is the stranger-than-fiction story of inmates at a Mexican penitentiary who, inspired by a young offender, end up forming a pro football team. However, this turn of events also entangles them with the titular organization that won’t let them shake off their criminal pasts so easily.

Miss Bala

Isabel worked as a sound mixer on Catherine Hardwicke’s remake of the 2011 Mexican thriller of the same name. Gina Rodriguez stars as Gloria, a makeup artist whose trip to Mexico hurls her into the nightmare world of drug cartels, a beauty pageant front and a fight to save her best friend from the clutches of the underworld.

Bill Morrison

A cult legend in documentary circles, Bill has been the subject of numerous retrospectives and accolades over the course of his career. Now a member of the Documentary Branch, he has built a storied roster of achievements over the past three decades merging avant-garde sensibilities with real-life subject matter.


Selected by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry, this visually stunning film (subtitled “The State of Decay”) focuses on the nature of film itself, using the ragged and deteriorating remnants of features from the early 20th century to illuminate the fragility of art itself and the fate of so many cinematic achievements that are slipping away to this day.

The Great Flood 

A found-footage film like no other, this dreamlike collaboration with composer Bill Frisell captures the essence of the catastrophic flood of the Mississippi River in 1927 that altered the landscape. A look at one of the country’s often unmentioned natural disasters, the film has also been performed with live music for those lucky enough to catch it.

Dawson City: Frozen Time

Morrison returns to the idea of film history from a very different angle with this remarkable snapshot of a cache of priceless silent film reels dating back to the earliest days of cinema, hundreds of which were uncovered decades later frozen in a swimming pool in the Yukon. You’ll never look at a film archive the same way again.