Julie Kim is a Film Director and Cinematographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She worked her way up the industry ladder through a predominantly male camera department.
2020, a year of elevating women, has ironically been the demise of a couple key men in my life. My relationship of eight years ended with my partner’s infidelity, and I lost my father suddenly to an un-COVID related death. I was precariously moving through two different heartaches at the same time. Pain was absolutely testing my faith in happiness.
I’ve been working with men, by default, in a male-dominated industry my entire adult career. There just weren’t many women in my department at the time, so I became part of an exclusive boys’ club. One that taught me how to fix my taillight, how to pack $10,000 cash, and the importance of talcum powder on a sweaty summer day! Beyond that, I learned the tricks I carry with me today; lighting with less, how to be a graceful leader, the art of “fake it till you make it”, basically it pays to believe in yourself. My mentors were invaluable in guiding me to this point in my career, and I pass on the same integrities to my assistants.
New choices led to new relationships, including a renewed and deeper sense of self. I generated the courage and strength to love bigger, to embrace vulnerability in vital ways, and to focus on things I have let lay dormant for too long. Deepening my relationship with others and myself, fully and unconditionally, breathes new life into me. These challenging times have highlighted one thing that would never let me down and I found always waiting for me, my creativity.
In the “pursuit of happiness,” you accept the pain, the joy, and you keep doing what you love. Simple or profound, humans are social creatures. We are here to connect regardless of the outcome. Directing gives me that opportunity to reflect this.
As a filmmaker, I am honoured to seed my vision within the stories and passions of others, specifically for the broader good of our youth who need that critical voice and encouragement. I would say to be a woman in film isn’t about standing exclusively with women, but more about standing as a woman with your beautiful creative tribe.
Recently, Julie premiered her documentary on CBC and Telus Optik called “in love with a problem” A film about two innovative teens who set out to rid the world of plastic waste. Along the way, they discover plastic-eating bacteria, unlock breakthroughs in chemistry, and journey from Vancouver to Silicon Valley. This passion project was dedicated to her dad, whose 80th birthday would have been today, July 3, 2021.
Happy Birthday, Dad.