We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Joun and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julia, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
This is a question that occurs every year. As a small nonprofit, there is never enough time, funding, and help. Like other arts organizations and food businesses, 2020 has been a difficult year. We have made it work no matter the circumstances for seven years. For me, the creative challenge of putting together a multi-faceted extravaganza of food and film is irresistible. Also, I really enjoy sharing food culture with the community.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The Flatirons Food Film Festival presents multi-faceted programs that include films, speakers, and culinary events related to the films. We also have a children’s program, a discussion series, and an exhibition of local art inspired by the films. I curate the films, create the events, and find the speakers. We try to present an immersive experience. I am proud that more often than not, we do. I didn’t have experience running or even serving on the board of a nonprofit before I started the Festival. I wasn’t professionally involved in food or film, In many ways, the Festival is a testament to how gathering good talented people, being inspired, persistence, and being willing to put in the work can result in creating something bigger than I ever imagined. Every time that I want the Festival to do or be more, I learn how much I need to learn about how arts nonprofits function successfully. So, it’s constant catch-up learning process. I take classes in how arts nonprofits ideally run, how to market arts events, and finding funding. Sometimes, I can incorporate what I learn. Other times, we don’t have enough help or funding to make it work. One lesson that has become clear is that the people and relationships involved with our Festival are essential. It is a collaborative effort that depends on board members, volunteers, partners, donors, and more. The joy and effectiveness has a lot to do with positive relationships. I would like the world to know that people who want to get involved with the Festival can make a real impact and create their own niche. Likewise, we are open creatively to film submissions, partnerships, collaborations, and great ideas.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Boulder has so much beauty that people have fought to be accessible. And there is much delicious food to be found there. We would take long walks on the Boulder Creek Path, keeping our eyes open for flowers, fruit, greens, and mushrooms to forage. Tierra y Fuego tacqueria would beckon with their smoked pork rib burritos and mole plate. I would tell them to pack a swim suit so we could in the outdoor pool at Scott Carpenter Park where you can look up at the Flatirons mountains while in the pool. At Corrida, a restaurant right off the Pearl Street Mall, there is a clear and breathtaking view of the Flatirons on the terrace where you can get a perfect Spanish-style Gin and Tonic. We would have to take in concerts at Macky Auditorium on the CU-Boulder campus and the Boulder Theater. You haven’t lived until Griffin Farro of Bramble and Hare has made you a custom cocktail, so we would go there. If we had mad money and wanted to exquisitely taken care, Frasca would be the place for an elegant meal with first-rate wine and service. If I seem obsessed with food, it’s absolutely true but there is so much more to Boulder.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The great classic food films of the 80’s and 90’s like Tampopo, Eat Drink Man Woman, and Babette’s Feast made me love good films that feature food and the people who create it. There have been many good, even great, narrative and documentary food films since. However, there is a special place in my heart for the classics.