Julia Haslett is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and educator whose expressionistic documentaries have screened around the world. Her most recent feature Pushed up the Mountain is a documentary about plants and the people who care for them. It premiered at Banff Mountain Film Festival in Canada and has gone onto screen at numerous international film festivals, including Trento, Wild & Scenic, and the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF). Her first feature, An Encounter with Simone Weil, premiered at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), won Michael Moore’s Special Founder’s Prize at Traverse City Film Festival, and was a New York Magazine Critic's Pick. It was broadcast throughout Europe and the former Soviet Republics by Viasat History. She is producer/director of the Worlds Apart series about healthcare inequities in the US, and producer of the companion hour-long PBS documentary Hold Your Breath. Her shorts have screened at, among other festivals, Full Frame, Black Maria, and Rooftop Films. Her work has been recognized by fellowships at MacDowell, IFP Documentary Lab, Wildacres, and VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts).
Julia has screened and discussed her documentary work at numerous academic institutions in the US, including Stanford, Vassar, Northwestern, NYU, and University of Houston. Internationally, she has lectured at, among others, Renmin University (Beijing), Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou), and Carleton University (Ottawa). In addition, she has spoken at a number of cultural institutions including The Huntington Library, New York Society for Ethical Culture, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.
Julia got her start at WGBH-Boston (PBS) and the Discovery Channel, and then went onto be a Filmmaker-in-Residence at Stanford University’s Center for Biomedical Ethics. Since then, she served as Visiting Associate Professor / Head of Film & Video Production in The University of Iowa’s Department of Cinematic Arts. Currently, she is assistant professor of media production at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, where she teaches courses on documentary, first-person, and environmental filmmaking. She is particularly interested in how the essay film can introduce audiences to complex ideas as well as provide a forum for college students to transform academic content into film and media projects.