Area of Study: Media Production
B.A., Swarthmore College (English Literature)
M.F.A., Hunter College–CUNY (Integrated Media Arts)
London-born, North Carolina-based filmmaker Julia Haslett makes expressionistic documentaries about contemporary and historical subjects. She is particularly interested in questions of empathy, attention, and the complex dynamics of bearing witness. Her first feature-length documentary, An Encounter with Simone Weil, premiered at IDFA, won Michael Moore’s Special Founder’s Prize at the Traverse City Film Festival, and was a New York Magazine Critic’s Pick. She is producer/director of the highly acclaimed Worlds Apartseries about healthcare inequities in the US, and producer of the companion hour-long documentary Hold Your Breath (PBS). Her latest feature film Pushed up the Mountain is a poetic documentary about plants and the people who care for them, shot on location in China and Scotland. It premiered in 2020 at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Since then, it has screened at venues around the world, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, Trento Film Festival, and the Scottish National Gallery. Pushed up the Mountain is available for institutional distribution through GOOD DOCS.
Julia has received fellowships from MacDowell, IFP Documentary Lab, Bogliasco Foundation, and VCCA, among others. Her film work has earned support from numerous sources including Vital Projects Fund, Commonwealth Fund, and UNC’s University Research Council. She has worked at WGBH-Boston (PBS), the Discovery Channel, and as a Filmmaker-in-Residence at the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics. She earned her B.A. from Swarthmore College and her M.F.A. in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College (CUNY). She was visiting associate professor and head of film & video production in The University of Iowa’s Department of Cinematic Arts and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.