Joel Potrykus

Joel Potrykus


Assistant Professor
Film & Video Production

Office: 219 Lake Superior Hall
Phone: (616) 331-3548
Email: p[email protected]


Joel Potrykus is a Michigan-based independent filmmaker and visiting professor, specializing in screenwriting and fiction film production. His work has screened at the Lincoln Center for the Arts, the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, Cinémathèque Française in Paris, and the Munich Film Museum. His debut feature film, Ape, won Best New Director at the Locarno Film Festival, and his follow-up, Buzzard, won the FIPRESI Prize at the Ljubliana International Film Festival and was invited to be part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science Permanent Collection. His feature film The Alchemist Cookbook, and his most recent film, Relaxer, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, both produced by Oscilloscope Laboratories, founded by Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. He’s been the subject of retrospectives at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Valdivia Film Festival in Chile, and the Black Canvas Film Festival in Mexico City.


MFA, Writing for Film and Television, Emerson College

BS, Film & Video Production, Grand Valley State University


  • FVP 261 - Scriptwriting I
  • FVP 321 - Fiction Filmmaking I
  • FVP 362 - Scriptwriting II
  • FVP 421 - Fiction Filmmaking II



Actor in room setting fire with a lighter and lighter fluid

Ape, 2012

Actor with Taped Hands in bed in a robe, and eating a plate of pasta

Buzzard, 2014

Two men in a living room sitting on a couch, one shirtless. The shirted man is pouring a glass of milk while the other is playing a video game

Relaxer, 2018

Man sitting in kitchen near a sink wrapped in Christmas lights

The Alchemist Cookbook, 2016

Page last modified October 7, 2022