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Selected as one of American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars of 2018, Carolina Costa has traveled the world lensing critically-acclaimed feature films, documentaries, shorts, and commercials. Carolina is currently the Director of Photography on Ryan Murphy’s newest series GROTESQUERIE; and she is also lensing the upcoming feature OLMO directed by Fernando Eimbcke. She was also the DP for FANCY DANCE starring KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON Oscar-nominee Lily Gladstone and directed by Erica Tremblay. FANCY DANCE premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2023 and can now be watched on Apple TV. 


A Sundance darling, Carolina has served as the Director of Photography for five films that have premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Her films have also premiered at Cannes, Tribeca, SXSW and more. She has been nominated for numerous awards and won the SXSW 2023 ZEISS Cinematography Award for her work on FANCY DANCE, Tribeca’s 2023 Best Cinematography Award for her work on THE GRADUATES, the 2022 Women in Media + ZEISS Altitude Award, and was on Variety’s list of “10 Latinxs To Watch in 2020”.

Carolina’s first feature as a Director of Photography, THE CHOSEN ONES with director David Pablos, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The film won five Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences’ Ariel Awards, including Carolina’s win for Best Cinematography. Her work was additionally praised by The Hollywood Reporter as “a handsomely shot feature.” In 2020, Carolina and Pablos reunited on the Netflix film, DANCE OF THE 41, which earned Carolina her second Ariel Award nomination for Best Cinematography (Mejor Fotografía). Carolina also DP’d the feature film HEROICO which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and was featured in the 2023 Camerimage Directors’ Debuts Competition. The film was directed by Mexican filmmaker David Zonana, whom Carolina previously collaborated with on WORK FORCE (MANO DE OBRA). Carolina’s work on HEROICO earned her her third Ariel Award nomination in 2024 for Best Cinematography (Mejor Fotografía).


Some of Carolina’s past credits include serving as the DP of: the music video for VIVIR QUINTANA: TE MERCEDES UN AMOR; Tara Miele’s film WANDER DARKLY, starring Diego Luna and Sienna Miller, which premiered at Sundance 2022; Minhal Baig and Jada Pinkett Smith’s coming-of-age film HALA, that premiered at Sundance 2019; Tinder’s first interactive series SWIPE NIGHT directed by Karena Evans; the fiction narrative film ICEBOX produced by three-time Oscar winning producer James L. Brooks’, which premiered at TIFF 2018; the multiple award-winning feature CRYSTAL SWAN directed by Darya Zhuk; the award-winning film THEY, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival; Max Winkler’s Tribeca film, FLOWER, starring Zoey Deutch; the horror, thriller film THE EVIL HERITAGE (LA HERENCIA DE MAL); the pilot episode for the Amazon Freevee’s HIGH SCHOOL episodic series from award-winning director Clea Duvall; and BABENCO: TELL ME WHEN I DIE from director Bárbara Paz which premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and took home the Best Documentary Award.

Additionally, Carolina handled second-unit cinematography and B-camera for Luca Guadagnino's critically-acclaimed SUSPIRIA, starring Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson. She also lensed several episodes of the HBO Emmy award-winning series INSECURE.

Originally from Brazil, Carolina 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.

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