She // Her // Hers
[ID: An Asian American woman with shoulder-length black hair with gray highlights looks into the camera. She is wearing glasses and a black shirt against a polka-dot background.]
Portrait photo courtesy of the artist.
Los Angeles, CA
2023 USA Fellow
This award was generously supported by Paul and Annette Smith.
Grace Lee is an award-winning Asian American filmmaker whose work combines personal storytelling, humor, and compelling characters to reframe how we see history, power, and community. Lee’s films mine the complexities of what it means to be American, be they about grassroots organizers, politicians, conservative midwestern housewives, street reporters covering the 1992 LA civil unrest, or the army of women who share her incredibly common name. While she often explores the terrain of Asian America, her storytelling elicits nuanced observations that evoke universal themes. Her work has screened at Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, SXSW, Berlin, and Pusan. Her films have been theatrically released and broadcast on PBS and Sundance Channel, winning two Peabody awards, Emmy and NAACP Image Award nominations, and multiple festival audience awards. Her work has been funded by the Ford Foundation/Just Films, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, ITVS, the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, IDA Enterprise Fund, and others. Beyond her filmmaking, Lee is committed to helping create a more just and equitable documentary filmmaking field. She cofounded the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc), which uplifts and resources Asian American nonfiction storytellers, and she serves on the board of the International Documentary Association. She also hosted and executive produced the podcast Viewers Like Us which explores systemic inequities at PBS. Born and raised in Columbia, Missouri, to Korean immigrant parents, Lee currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.