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I’ve had the privilege of working as a filmmaker and reporter at the forefront of international storytelling for over two decades. Whether documentary filmmaking, investigations, or digital storytelling, I love the challenge of turning difficult access and complex narratives into compelling films, or even gamified, interactive storytelling projects. I believe in nuance, the challenging of stereotypes, and a way of working that empowers a diversity of voices and contributes to change.
Having started my career as a researcher and producer, I became a reporter when Channel 4 launched the Unreported World series. I was in Somalia right after 9/11, exploring why America might retaliate in Africa. Shortly after, in Germany, I gained unique access to a close family member of one of the World Trade Centre attackers' when researching a drama, and in Congo, Elizabeth Jones and I were the first to break the story of the conflict mineral coltan used in the production of mobile phones.
After joining Al Jazeera in 2006, I became part of the team that created the original programming content for the channel. Together with Dom Rotheroe I went to Liberia to produce the film that launched the channel’s programming content the day Al Jazeera English went on air. Over the next few years I developed, produced, wrote and reported a global five-part series that explored lawsuits against international corporations and teamed up with Matt Haan to go undercover in Cambodian orphanages to make a film that has been credited with exposing and changing the gap year “voluntourism” industry forever. Later still, I reported and directed films such as a People & Power episode in Niger that took us deep into the Sahara near the Libyan border to scrutinise the impact of Europe’s changing migration policy.
“Juliana is an extraordinary investigative television journalist: brave, rigorous and always focussed on the people at the heart of her stories. Her warmth on screen and passion for her work draw viewers into her investigations but she never makes herself the story. While I was Director of Programmes, Juliana produced some of our most important and watchable investigations, notably on Nigerian women trafficked into the sex trade in Europe, abused Cambodian orphans and illegal commercial fishing off West Africa.”
Former Director of Programmes
Al Jazeera Englis
After making nearly 50 films for Al Jazeera, including many investigations and shoots in regions of conflict, I left the network in autumn 2020. Whilst I continue to contribute to the People & Power series as an independent reporter and director, I am now also increasingly training and coaching other journalists and filmmakers and especially women.
“Juliana is an exceptional journalist, filmmaker and mentor. I’ve worked with her in the field for a number of productions, including a three-part series about the Sri Lankan civil war, a one-hour special about the democracy movement in the Maldives, and a series called Corporations on Trial. Her skills as an investigative reporter and storyteller are clear on the screen, but she’s also an extremely empowering and highly effective team leader. She is particularly generous with her time and experience in supporting colleagues early in their careers, and her passion for bold new ideas and stories is infectious. Juliana is one of my favourite people in the industry and I hope to have the chance to work with her many more times in the future.”
Manager Original Documentary Programming
I grew up in a tiny, rural village in northern Germany where lofty ambitions didn’t exist and all my dreams were about getting away. I ended up spending a year in Tanzania where I witnessed the end of President Julius Nyerere’s African socialism rule and then came to London to study for a BA Hons in Swahili and African Studies at SOAS. I kept returning to Tanzania for many years and also spent two lengthy stints in Nairobi, Kenya, working for the United Nations Security Council as an expert consultant investigating breaches of the arms embargo on Somalia.
I am bi-lingual English / German, with a solid working knowledge of French.
My Swahili is rusty and my Spanish basic.
When I don’t work, I live my passion for Cuban, Brazilian, and African dancing, singing,
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