Henry Joost

Henry Joost

With his co-directing and producing partner Ariel Schulman, filmmaker Henry Joost explored issues of identity and morality in an Internet-dominated world in such documentaries and features as "Catfish" (2010), "Paranormal Activity 3" (2011) and "Nerve" (2016). Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Joost spent much of his childhood traveling the world with his father, an international banker, and his mother, a professional photographer. He met his filmmaking partner, Ariel Schulman, while both were in high school, and after a brief stint at Columbia University, the duo formed a production company, Supermarché, in 2006. The company produced commercials and short films before venturing into feature-length projects in 2010 with the documentary "Catfish." The controversial film, which followed Schulman's brother, Nev, as he attempted to determine the authenticity of an online admirer, won critical praise and led to a slew of new and diverse film projects. Joost and Schulman followed "Catfish" with "NY Export: Opus Jazz" (PBS, 2010), a filmed version of a 1958 ballet by Jerome Robbins, then ventured into mainstream dramatic fare with "Paranormal Activity 3," one of the more successful entries in the found footage supernatural horror franchise. Joost and Schulman soon returned to more independent/arthouse minded fare with the documentary short "A Brief History of John Baldessari" (2012), about the conceptual artist's life and work. That same year, they ventured into television content with "Catfish: The TV Show" (MTV, 2012-), which featured the duo aiding individuals in determining the identity of personalities on social media sites. They also returned to the "Paranormal Activity" series with "Paranormal Activity 4" (2012) before focusing on short form projects with a slew of high-profile subjects, including "Cover Girl" (2014) with Lena Dunham, "A Year of Ping-Pong" with New York Times crossword puzzle creator Will Shortz attempting to film himself playing table tennis for an entire calendar year, and "Australia Psycho" (2015), a satirical look at actress Margot Robbie's ascent to stardom. The following year, they co-directed two suspense/horror efforts with online/documentation: "Nerve," with Emma Roberts as a high schooler participating in a dangerous online game of daring challenges, and "Viral" (2016), with Analeigh Tipton as a woman documenting a disease outbreak that decimates half the world's population.