Joosje Duk: Filmmaker & Actress

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Joosje Duk is a Dutch filmmaker and actress. She wrote and directed the award winning short film NIGHTstarring Rachel Hilson (KINGS) and Genelva Krind (HOE DUUR WAS DE SUIKER). Joosje was born in The Netherlands. When she was fifteen, she got cast as lead character Mirjam in the successful children's television series SNUF THE DOG (SNUF DE HOND), directed by Steven de Jong. SNUF THE DOG AND THE SPOOKY CASTLE won a Double Platina Award for topping more than 200,000 DVD sales in The Netherlands. She was a guest star in the KPN Presents on-demand series B.A.B.S. and she also appeared in the final episode of the final season of Dutch drama series A’DAM - E.V.A. At age seventeen Joosje moved to New York to study Acting, Filmmaking & Journalism at NYU. Joosje created, shot and edited the video series MINUTE WITH A MODEL for Marie Claire magazine, for which she interviewed seven Dutch models living in New York about their lives off the runway. She portrayed the role of Johanna Bennemin in the feature film A NOBLE INTENTION (PUBLIEKE WERKEN), directed by Joram Lürsen. The film received ten Dutch Academy Award nominations and is currently on Netflix worldwide. She also co-wrote the one-woman show WAITING FOR WHAT?, which she performed at the Off-Broadway Festival United Solo in New York, the world's biggest solo festival. In the summer of 2015, Joosje wrote, directed and starred in her first short film HEAVY FEATHERS, that was screened at the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival, Orlando Film Festival and Santa Fe Film Festival among other festivals. The short was accepted to the Mzansi Women's Film Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, where it was the Winner of the Top 5 Shorts.

In 2016 she developed her thesis short film NIGHT. The film premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival and was selected for multiple nationwide festivals, including the Oscar qualifying Nashville Film Festival. NIGHT won several awards at the Trinity Film Festival in Connecticut and CineYouth Chicago International Film Festival. Joosje delivers socially engaged projects. In response to the yearly Dutch Black Pete discussion, Joosje created PIETERBAAS with three fellow designers: a non-profit wrapping paper brand featuring a group of new, diverse so-called 'Petes,' in order to give a positive twist to the Dutch holiday tradition ‘Sinterklaas.' Joosje is currently developing her first feature screenplay as a fellow at NYU's Production Lab Development Studio. She enjoys modern art, running along the Hudson River, wearing colorful sweaters and eating chocolate. To be able to work in both cities, Joosje travels between Amsterdam and New York.

What do I do best?

I’m ambitious and self-determined and don’t fear rejection. I believe rejection is such a big part of being an artist and being able to deal with hearing ‘no’ and then continuing to work hard and believe in yourself is what you need to survive in the entertainment industry.

What makes me the best version of myself?

I try to remind myself as often as possible to be thankful for being able to live as freely and safely as I do.  My grandparents grew up during the war, so all the hardships I endure are nothing compared to what they went through. By continually being grateful for all I have, I can be the most positive version of myself.

What are my aspirations?

I would love to be able to continue making films that deal with social issues and that can have an impact on more than just an entertainment level. I truly believe films can help open up conversations about touchy topics, and whatever project I take on, I want to keep taking that into account.

My Biggest Success?

My short film NIGHT is a drama about micro-aggressions, which won the Huffington Post Arts Impact Award. Thanks to winning the award, the film was able to reach a large audience online, and long discussions about racism and ethnic profiling were held in comments sections. Seeing how the film caused long (and sometimes heated) discussions in which people learned from each other was a dream come true.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Making the decision to fully commit myself to filmmaking and not hide behind other ambitions was the hardest step to take for me so far. I used to not be able to see myself in that way and would always talk about what I was studying, but never about the creative occupation I wanted to have, and finally saying this out loud was difficult but helped me take myself seriously and grow as a filmmaker.

My Motto?

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” – Pablo Picasso. The best of the best.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

One of my all-time favorite films is Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven. I believe that film’s mood matches its story perfectly, and the visual style is memorable and mesmerizing. I wish there were more films by women that I could name as my favorites. I can't wait to see more up and coming female filmmakers getting opportunities to have their voices heard.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

I’m from The Netherlands, a country I love with all my heart. I’ve been living in NYC for almost six years and am nowhere near done with it yet. In terms of traveling I’m a big fan of Portlligat, a colorful village near Barcelona, and Juan les Pins, a wonderful town in the south of France.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

My bike!! A baby blue beach cruiser. And for film: the ARRI Alexa!

My Current Passions?

Film of course, and running along the Hudson River, biking in NYC, reading Pnin, seeing plays, drinking iced lattes and catching up with people I love.