Josephine Decker

filmmaker, performer

Los Angeles, US

filmmaking eco-concept narrative documentary

Josephine Decker is a filmmaker and performer who often wishes she was a full-time earth activist or journalist or monk.  She recently became a mother.  And that is sort of like becoming all three of those.  

If you have a really amazing eco-concept, she would probably love to participate.

She most recently directed the feature film Shirley, starring Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg and Odessa Young. Part of Time Warner's 150 incubator,

Sundance Institute's New Frontier Lab and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film, Josephine Decker has been said to be ushering in a “new grammar of narrative” by The New Yorker. Her feature Madeline’s MadelineWorld Premiered at Sundance 2018 where it was called a “mind-scrambling masterpiece” by Indiewire and received rave reviews from NPR, CBS, Village Voice, Hollywood Reporter and many more.  The film was nominated for Best Picture at IFP’s Gotham Awards and for two Independent Spirit Awards.Josephine premiered her first two narrative features at the Berlinale Forum 2014 to rave reviews, and her documentary work has played SXSW, Tribeca and aired on Netflix and MTV.  She also produced a series of shorts for The Museum of the City of New York, during which she had the pleasure of covering actual activists like Angy Rivera, who works to unify undocumented immigrants.

Josephine’s TV directing includes HBO’s Room 104 and an upcoming episode of Megan Abbott’s Dare Mefor USA Network. 

Inspired by the magical realism she studied in Latin-American Literature while at Princeton (I just casually dropped “Princeton” – did you catch that?), her films often blend documentary and fiction.  She tries to represent female sexuality in subversive ways that reveal the uniqueness of each woman's experience.  Prior to dedicating herself full-time to filmmaking, she played in an all-female accordion orchestra and did eco-oriented performance art.  She has also acted in a variety of films.

Interested in finding narrative through the body, she loves to teach and work through collaboration with existing communities.  She has worked at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and CalArts and taught at Princeton University’s innovative Atelier program with Butoh choreographer Vangelineincubating a dance film.  Josephine spent a year in Pig Iron Theater’s Advanced Performance Training to study collaborative writing and has led sessionsof the residency program The School of Making Thinking.  She created a Virtual Reality piece in residency at Wolf Kino in Berlin.  Her VR work has been incubated at Sundance’s New Frontier Lab and Oculus’ DevLab.

She likes to sing especially late at night around a fire with people who are also singing.


The Mask Task