MARIE-LOUISE LUSAMBA NKASHAMA
Marie-Louise Lusamba Nkashama is a Congolese-American filmmaker and climber for The North Face. In 2021 she received her BFA in Film/Television Production at NYU Tisch School of the Arts in New York City.
Born in Texas and raised by Congolese parents, she has always been intrigued by identity. Her projects tend to explore questions regarding identity and the pursuit of individuality.
Marie-Louise began filmmaking as a freshman in high school in 2013. After accidentally being placed in “Intro to A/V” class, she felt a connection to the camera. She always loved writing stories but now, she wanted to capture them. At 14, she attended the Austin Film Festival and that opened her eyes to the possibility of making a life around the celebration of sharing stories.
Upon graduating high school in 2017, Marie-Louise grew desperate for another creative outlet. She has a random thought in her head,
“I really want to go rock climbing.”
Her only preconception of rock climbing was watching Mia Thermopolis climb ropes with her mom in the film “Princess Diaries.” She figured it was easy enough. She googled the closest climbing gym to her, borrowed her dad’s car, and she was off.
When she arrived at the gym, Marie-Louise found out it was a bouldering only gym. No ropes, no harnesses. Just you, the mat, and some damp rental shoes. She had already paid for the day pass so there was no use in turning back now. And with the first touch of plastic rock, she was hooked.
As she pursued filmmaking at NYU, she pursued climbing in NYC. She found work as a Cinematographer, Editor, Photographer, Production Assistant, Front Desk Staff, and Climbing Instructor. Her first outdoor climbing experience was in Central Park, her second was in Fontainebleau, France. Having been raised in a multicultural household, she finds ease in traveling to far places. Some of her favorite places to climb are Lander WY, Joshua Tree, and Rocky Mountain National Park.
In May 2021, Marie-Louise Nkashama became the first black female athlete sponsored by The North Face. And she hopes that she is not the last.
She prides herself on her versatility. She wouldn’t be who she was without the culmination of her multiple passions.
“I truly believe I can achieve anything I set my mind to,” She says, “I have to believe it."
- 2019 The North Face She Moves Mountains Grant Recipient
- 2017 NYU Tony Hawkins Award for Original Radio Drama - Sound Engineer
- Austin Film Festival Scholarship Recipient (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
- 2015 Women In Film Dallas Production Grant Recipient