Selected as one of American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars of 2018, award-winning cinematographer Carolina Costa has traveled the world photographing critically-acclaimed feature films, documentaries, shorts and commercials. Costa most recently lensed Tara Miele’s Wander Darkly, starring Diego Luna and Sienna Miller, that premiered this year at Sundance.
Costa was a co-cinematographer for the stylized, black-and-white documentary of renowned filmmaker Hector Babenco, Babenco: Tell Me When I Die which premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and took home the Best Documentary Award. She also lensed the Spanish-speaking drama Workforce aka Mano de Obra which premiered at TIFF to great reviews, as well as Minhal Baig and Jada Pinkett Smith’s coming-of-age story Hala, which premiered at Sundance 2019 and is now on Apple TV+. Expanding her expertise into new genres, Costa shot Tinder’s first interactive series Swipe Night and was also the director of photography on the horror, thriller project El Exorcismo de Carmen Farías.
In 2018, Costa worked with Darya Zhuk on the multiple award-winning feature Crystal Swan, which was Belarus' first Oscar submission in 22 years. Her first feature as a cinematographer, The Chosen Ones from director David Pablos, premiered at Cannes before winning five Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences’ Ariel Awards, including Costa’s Ariel Award for Best Cinematography. Her work was additionally praised by The Hollywood Reporter as “a handsomely shot feature.” Their second collaboration a period piece titled El Baile de los 41 is highly anticipated.
Additionally, Costa handled second-unit cinematography and B-camera for Luca Guadagnino's critically-acclaimed Suspiria, starring Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson. She lensed three-time Oscar winning producer James L. Brooks’ feature Icebox, now on HBO after premiering at the TIFF. Her other credits include lensing Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s Cannes selection They; and Max Winkler’s Tribeca film, Flower, starring Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn and Adam Scott.
In addition to feature films, Costa enjoys lending her expertise to commercials with relevant and important themes. She collaborated with Diego Luna to shoot Jarritos’ spot, The Journey, a short film showcasing the struggles, and triumphs of immigrants living in the United States. And most recently directed by Rodrigo Valdes, a Burger King short about the history of Acapulco’s divers.
Originally from Brazil, Costa studied at the University of the Arts, London, where she was mentored by Sue Gibson, the renowned first female president of the British Society of Cinematographers. Costa then moved to Los Angeles and earned her Masters in Cinematography from the American Film Institute. Her AFI thesis film Way in Rye went on to compete at Camerimage in Poland, followed by her AFI alumni short Contrapelo which premiered at Tribeca before being shortlisted for the Academy Awards.
She has made Mexico City her home base where she lives with her girlfriend and two dogs. Costa keeps traveling and working all over the world