Born in communist Bulgaria, Kristina Nikolova grew up in a family of cinematographers. She left home at 18 to study economics at the University of Chicago but ended up getting a BA in film theory instead. She shot first feature film at age 20 and worked for several years as a cinematographer before going to NYU's Grad Film program where she directed five and shot 14 award-winning shorts. Kristina’s directorial feature debut Faith, Love and Whiskey premiered at Slamdance 2012, and went on to win many awards including the Main Jury Prize at the Dallas International Film Festival and Best Debut Feature at the 21st Annual St. Louis International Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Debut Feature by the Bulgarian Film Academy. Next, she shot and produced her husband and collaborator Paul's first feature Touched with Fire (starring Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby), which premiered at SXSW 2015.

Kristina is currently finalizing her feature documentary In Hell With Ivo and shooting another feature documentary, Project CETI, and is in development on her second directorial feature, Amphibia, which is a love story set in a climate-changed world. She currently resides in New York City with Paul and their two children.