Jules Rosskam is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, artist, and educator. Through the use of autoethnography and hybrid forms, Rosskam’s interdisciplinary practice investigates the means by which we construct individual and collective histories and identities.
Born in Chicago and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Rosskam received a BA in Visual Arts from Bennington College in 2001. He then moved to New York City, where he developed a successful editing and production career working for MTV, The History Channel, Curious Pictures, and a wide variety of independent artists. While in New York, Rosskam joined the non-profit media arts organization Dyke TV, which produced an award-winning cable access television show for the queer community. Rosskam rose through the ranks to Executive Producer, and became one of the key organizers of the show and organization.
In 2005 Rosskam premiered his first feature film, TRANSPARENT, which was released to critical acclaim and awards both internationally and stateside. Frameline Distribution acquired the film in 2006, and it continues to be one of their more popular films. The film has screened in over 50 film festivals and had its broadcast premiere on PBS in June 2008.
In 2006, Rosskam moved to Chicago to obtain a MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied with artists such as Gregg Bordowitz, Frédéric Moffet, and Sadie Benning. While in Chicago, Jules co-founded the popular monthly film screening series, Threat Level Queer Shorts, which ran from 2008-2010.
In Summer 2007, Jules received a Fellowship from The Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, to support the development of his second feature documentary, against a trans narrative. The film went on to play at film festivals worldwide and had its broadcast premiere on the CBC in June 2010. The Video Data Bank also acquired the film for distribution in 2010.
In 2012, Jules returned to Chicago to shoot his third feature-film THICK RELATIONS. The film has played at festivals worldwide, and continues to screen at colleges and universities in North America.
With the generous support of the Center for Independent Documentary and the LEF Foundation, he finished his fourth feature-length film, PATERNAL RITES, in 2018. The film had its world premiere at MoMA’s Doc Fortnight in February 2018. Since then, it has played around the world, and been awarded several jury prizes.
In 2018 Jules also completed a short film, SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT, which is the first in a trilogy of shorts that looks at the oft unexamined aspects of gender transition. It premiered at Anthology Film Archives in April 2018 and continues to play at film festivals around the world. The second film in the trilogy, DANCE, DANCE, EVOLUTION, was completed in May 2019 and will have its world premiere at The 47th annual Dance on Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center in July, 2019.
Rosskam is also a fine artist whose paintings, installations, and performances have shown in galleries and venues throughout the U.S. and Europe. Additionally, he is a noted lecturer, speaker, and professor who has held positions at Hampshire College, SUNY Old Westbury, and Indiana University—Purdue, Fort Wayne. He is currently assistant professor of visual arts at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.