Julia Sterre Schmitz (Amsterdam, NL, 1993) is a filmmaker and photographer who graduated at the Royal Academy of Art, The Netherlands. While experimenting with various media, she found herself mostly reflecting upon the practice of image making itself, interrogating the genre of documentary and its ethical dimensions. This brought her to Goldsmiths, University of London, where she is currently studying the MA Visual Anthropology.

Her work includes questioning spontaneity as well as performativity when it comes to ‘recording reality’. She is interested in the relationship between reflexivity and truthfulness, which she scrutinises in her most recent video work Under Construction – A Video Essay (selected by Sight & Sound Magazine, BFI – best video essays of 2018). With tongue in cheek, the work questions the popular discussion around the notion of a ‘constructed reality’ in film, while in turn revealing its own fabrication. From reality TV shows to high-brow documentary films, she is fascinated by how reality is presented and consumed (her parallel life as a freelancer for e.g. social media celebrities fuels these fascinations).

Her investigations in ways of representing realities often result in experiments with non-linear constructions, both in physical forms of viewing as in edit structures, like her documentary film installation Tropical Fish in the North Sea. By simultaneously using and reflecting upon conventional modes of documentary storytelling, she aims to playfully point the viewers to their own act of seeing, believing and constructing.

She is currently doing research about life modeling, the relationship between looking and being looked at, the (dis)connection between nudity and sexuality, and the crossovers between the body as an image, the body as a medium and the body as a thing.


2012-2013 Communication & Multimedia Design, Hogeschool van Amsterdam

2013-2017 Interactive/Media/Design, Royal Academy of Arts The Hague

2016 Internship Storyboard Agency Amsterdam


2018 Tropical Fish in the North Sea – Festimi, Amsterdam

2017 Royal Academy of Arts Graduation Show

2013 CSI: VBW, GEM Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hague NL

2013 On all fours, TodaysArt Festival, The Hague NL

Freelance film & photography 

Photography: i.a. Storyboard Agency ( i.a. Van Dobbe, Rituals, ANWB, ASICS, Jack Daniels, Heineken), Lipcote&Co, Markttheater, Heineken Experience
Aftermovies/promovideos/edits: i.a. WeMakeVR, Stukafest, Bedrijvenspiegel, Lipcote&Co London, Van Gogh Experience