Julio was born in San Sebastian, Spain. A deep curiosity for the darkest corners of the human mind made him study psychiatry at the University of the Basque Country. In 1992, he directed his first feature film Vacas (1992) which earned him the Goya Award for Best New Director, and earned him awards in festivals such as Tokyo, Torino and Alexandria. In 1993 he made his second movie, La Ardilla Roja (1993); Stanley Kubrick enjoyed the film so much that he bought the original print from Medem. His third movie, Earth (1996) was selected for the Cannes Film Festival. In 1998 he released Lovers of the Arctic Circle (1998), a fan favorite and box-office hit with more than one million viewers in Spain. In 2001 his fourth movie, Sex and Lucia (2001) became a huge box office success and started the career of actress Paz Vega, who won the Goya for Best New Actress. His most recent works include Ma Ma (2015) with Penelope Cruz and The Tree of Blood (2018) with Úrsula Corberó and Álvaro Cervantes. He is currently preparing his film OCHO.