Julia Loktev

Nominated For:



WRITER/DIRECTOR: The Loneliest Planet


Alex and Nica are young, in love and engaged to be married. The summer before their wedding, they are backpacking in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia. The couple hire a local guide to lead them on a camping trek, and the three set off into a stunning wilderness, a landscape that is both overwhelmingly open and frighteningly closed. Walking for hours, they trade anecdotes, play games to pass the time of moving through space. And then, a momentary misstep, a gesture that takes only two or three seconds, a gesture that’s over almost as soon as it begins.

But once it is done, it can’t be undone. Once it is done, it threatens to undo everything the couple believed about each other and about themselves. All the while, they are not alone. They are always with the guide, who witnesses their every move. The film plays off the relationship between young travelers and the places they travel to, between guide and guided. But at heart, it is a love story — a tale about betrayal, both accidental and deliberate, about masculinity, failure and the ambiguities of forgiveness.



JULIA LOKTEV was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia. When she was nine, her family immigrated to the U.S., settling in Loveland, Colorado. While in university in Montreal, Julia was a DJ at an alternative radio station, which led to creating her own audio art works. Following half a year traveling alone through Central Asia, she moved to New York to pursue filmmaking.

Julia’s first feature, the documentary Moment of Impact, won several prizes including the Directing Award at Sundance, the Grand Prize at Cinéma du Reél in Paris, Best Documentary at Karlovy Vary, and screened in many festivals including Locarno, New Directors/ New Films and Pusan. Her fiction debut Day Night Day Night premiered in Directors Fortnight at Cannes in 2006, winning the Youth Prize, and went on to win the Louve D’Or at the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Best New Director at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Someone to Watch prize at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and two Gotham Award nominations, Breakthrough Director and Breakthrough Actor.

Julia also makes multiple-screen video installations that have been exhibited in a visual art context, including at Tate Modern in London, P.S.1 in New York, Haus der Kunst in Munich, Bienal de Valencia, Mito Art Tower in Japan. She was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Julia lives and works in Brooklyn.