Still from Nancy by Christina Choe '12

Alumna Christina Choe '12 Directs 'Nancy,' Named One of the Best Films of 2018

July 12, 2018

Nancy, the first feature-length film directed by Film Alumna Christina Choe '12, was included on the list of Best Films of 2018 by The Village Voice and Indiewire.


Nancy follows “a sad-sack internet addict and aspiring writer living with her ailing mother,” according to a review by the critic and filmmaker Bilge Ebriri. However, when Nancy’s mother dies, she sees a news report on TV about a couple whose young daughter went missing thirty years ago—It so happens that Nancy resembles this missing daughter, and she goes to seek the family out.


The film stars Steve Buscemi, John Leguizamo, Ann Dowd, J. Smith-Cameron, and Andrea Riseborough, who plays Nancy. Riseborough was praised for her riveting performance in the film. In a recent Tweet, Choe said, “Five years ago I got obsessed with Andrea Riseborough for the part of Nancy...After seeing her in a couple films I knew she was one of the great actresses of our generation. She is a real champion for female voices.” In fact, in an interview with The Creative Independent, Choe is also a champion of female voices—She worked with an entirely female crew on set.


“To support the performance, director Christina Choe underplays the humor and builds moods more than scenes, so that we’re always locked into the emotional experience of what we’re seeing rather than the particulars of the plot,” wrote Ebiri.


Earlier this year, Nancy won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. In 2012, Choe’s short film, I am John Wayne, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival.


Choe spoke about her time at Columbia and said, “I’m glad that I did have some experience directing actors, one class in particular at Columbia, that taught me just how to talk to them. Talking through objectives and needs in a very technical way but also in ways that made sense. I got to use those tools in directing non-actors, when it almost felt like sometimes I was their acting coach, going in-depth with them while making my short films. I think that was the best training.”

Nancy is now playing in select theaters.