Talent Guide

Jean Lee

  • Discipline:Director, Writer
  • Program Year:Directing Lab 2014


Jean Lee is a writer, director and cinematographer. Born in Philadelphia, Lee graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. Originally set for law school, Lee became interested in film as an advocacy tool when she directed and shot a short documentary on Philadelphia’s sex trafficking industry called We Do Not Exist. The film went on to become an educational resource at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
Excited by the power of communicating across all cultures in a meaningful and entertaining way, Lee decided to become a filmmaker. In 2010, Lee won the Jacob Javits Fellowship and began her graduate film studies at New York University Tisch Asia.
In October 2012, Lee wrote and directed Cahaya, shot in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2012, the film had its American premiere at DC Shorts Film Festival. In 2013, it premiered in Europe at Berlinale International Film Festival. Cahaya went on to play at other festivals around the world including Seoul International Women’s Film Festival and Kyoto Children’s Film Festival. In 2013, the film was leased by Salaam Productions.
In October 2013, Lee was accepted into the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Intensive with Kimchi Princess. Currently, Lee is in development on her thesis film, The Tortoise and His Tail.

Current Project

Kimchi Princess


Four best friends compete against each other for the coveted “Kimchi Princess” crown at the Los Angeles Kimchi Festival, and their competitive natures and familial problems threaten to derail both their chances and their friendships.