Jessica Yu is an Academy Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and writer working in a variety of media and genres.
Her recent feature documentaries include Last Call at the Oasis, a bracing look at the water crisis, and Misconception, an exploration of population issues. Short films include You Who Look, a portrait of the artist James Turrell, ForEveryone.net, a chronicle of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the World Wide Web within the context of the struggle over internet rights and The Guide, the story of a budding Mozambican biologist's encounter with E.O. Wilson.
Jessica won an 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 confined to an iron lung. Her features include Protagonist, a look at extremism through the lives of a spectrum of individuals, In the Realms of the Unreal, the celebrated documentary about outsider artist Henry Darger, for which she was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award, The Living Museum, a portrait of an art community in a New York psychiatric institution, and the Asian American cult comedy, Ping Pong Playa.
As a director, she has also worked on various shows, including American Crime, Lady Dynamite, Parenthood, Grey’s Anatomy, 13 Reasons Why and The West Wing, as well as Maria Bamford’s one-hour Netflix comedy special, Old Baby.
A graduate of Yale University, Jessica has written pieces for several outlets, including the Los Angeles Times Magazine and Pacific News Service.
Jessica lives in Southern California with her husband, the writer and teacher Mark Salzman and their two daughters, Ava and Esme.
"Garden of the Lost and Abandoned" is her first book.