Julia Kots emigrated from the former Soviet Union as a religious refugee at the age of ten. Her versatile work, set anywhere from New York City to Russia, to medieval Protugal to a small New England town, is informed by her unique perspective, her singular life experience, as well as her quirky sense of humor.
Her most recent short film, New Business, is an off-beat dark comedy about the coming of age of a boy and a country. Set in Post-Soviet Russia, the film portrays a night in the life of a teenage boy, as he tries his hand at entrepreneurialism by attempting to prostitute two girls. The film is the official selection of Slamdance 2008, winner of the IFP Audience Choice Award, and winner of the New Line Cinema Development Grant for $10,000.
She was a finalist for the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmakers Award. She wrote and directed a Diet Coke commercial with a grant from Coca-Cola. The commercial was exhibited by Grass Valley at NAB 2007, as she was the first student to use the Viper FilmStream Camera in conjunction with post-production special effects.
She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a BA in playwrighting, where she studied with Donald Marguiles and Suzan-Lori Parks, and produced three of her original plays. She has also studied photography with Gregory Crewdson and Tod Papageorge. Julia's art has been featured in ten group art shows, including two at Sotheby's. Her graphic design work can be seen at the MoMA Design Store.
She has an MFA from Columbia University Film School, where she was a Dean's Scholar. She is a recipient of the Women In Film Acceleration Grant for Emerging Filmmakers, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation Grant, Milos Forman Fund, Kathryn Parlan Hearst Screenwriting Scholarship, Jewish Foundation For Education of Women Scholarship, as well as several traveling scholarships.