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Columbia College Chicago
Jules Rosskam
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Jules Rosskam

Summer 2007
Institute Fellow


Born in Chicago and raised just outside Philadelphia, Rosskam received a BA in Painting and Writing from Bennington College in 2001 and a MFA in Film, Video, New Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008.

In 2005 Rosskam premiered his first feature film, transparent, which was released to critical acclaim and awards internationally and stateside.  Frameline Distribution acquired the film in 2005, and it continues to be one of their most popular films. The film has screened in over 50 film festivals and had its broadcast premiere on PBS in June 2008.

While in New York, Rosskam joined the legendary non-profit media arts organization Dyke TV, which produces an award-winning cable access television show for the queer community with roots in the LGBT activism of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Rosskam rose through the ranks to Executive Producer, and became one of the key organizers of the show and organization.

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 was released in 2009 and has since been picked up by the Video Data Bank, and broadcast in Canada.

Jules completed his third feature film, Thick Relations, in October 2012. Existing as an organic blend of documentary and narrative film elements, Thick Relations is a snapshot of an urban. queer community. The film was made collaboratively, with each person portraying a character fashioned around their own lives.

Currently a visiting Assistant Professor of Video and Film Production at Hampshire College, Rosskam is also a fine artist whose paintings, installations, and performances have shown in galleries and venues throughout the U.S.


During his Fellowship period at the Institute, Rosskam embarked upon the production of his latest film entitled, against a trans narrative. The film functions as a dialogue between friends, cultures, and generations addressing issues of representation, identity-formation, and the various forces that act together to build (or dismantle) communities. Specifically, the film analyzes the construction of the dominant trans-masculine “narrative” and how this influences and potentially hinders people’s conceptions of themselves. What forms of regulation, self or otherwise, must we partake in to be part of a community, and at what cost? The goal of this video is to instigate conversations among feminists, queers, transfolks, and anyone else invested in radically shifting the ways in which we construct personal and historical narratives.  For more information visit  www.againstatransnarrative.com


against a trans narrative is now in distribution with the Video Data Bank and has screened at dozens of film festivals both nationally and internationally. The film was recently shown at the Chicago Public Library and is currently screening on Out TV, a Canadian gay cable network.  Rosskam’s essays have been published in the Journal of Women and Performance and Make/Shift. He has wrapped production on a new documentary with Sam Feder and Taylor Casey, titled, When the Dust Settles, about trans women fighting for social and economic justice.  In October 2012, Jules completed his latest feature narrative, Thick Relations, about queer kinships and loss. The film premiered in London in March and will go on to play in Amsterdam in May. Jules is a artist-in-residence at ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn for 2013. During this residency he is conducting research on the utopian as an ephemeral and fleeting moment that exists between us, and he will be mounting a "live film" later in the year.

For more information on Jules and his work visit: www.julesrosskam.com