Jessica Yu

Jessica Yu is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short for BREATHING LESSONS: THE LIFE AND WORK OF MARK O’BRIEN, an intimate portrait of the writer who lived for four decades paralyzed by polio and confined to an iron lung.

IN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL, Yu’s latest feature documentary, debuted at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. It is an adventurous look into the art and enigmatic life of celebrated “outsider” artist Henry Darger. Released nationally by Wellspring Films and broadcast on PBS’ independent documentary series, P.O.V., REALMS was nominated for P.O.V.’s first Primetime Emmy Award.

Yu’s other films include THE LIVING MUSEUM, the award-winning HBO documentary about an art community in a New York mental institution, the narrative short BETTER LATE, the ITVS-funded MEN OF REENACTION, a documentary about Civil War reenactors, and the popular black & white short SOUR DEATH BALLS.

Yu is currently in pre-production on a feature comedy that she wrote with Jimmy Tsai. The film will be produced by Cherry Sky Films in early 2007

Poster for the movie "Protagonist"


Jessica Yu’s documentary explores the relationship between human life and Euripidean dramatic structure by weaving together the stories of four men: German terrorist, a bank robber, an “ex-gay” evangelist, and a martial arts student.