Karin Lee portrait by Chick Rice

Karin Lee - Artist and filmmaker

Karin L. Lee    李嘉慈

Karin Lee is a Canadian media artist and filmmaker. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Karin’s films are influenced by their upbringing: their parents were activists who worked in the downtown Eastside, with their father running a Chinese communist bookstore at 33 East Hastings from the mid-1960s to '80s. Their interest in Chinese Canadian identity, feminism and social justice activism informs their narrative films, experimental video, documentaries and original dramatic films they has written, directed and produced since 1991. 

Lee received The Canada Award Gemini (Canadian Screen Award) from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for their groundbreaking documentary Made in China; a BC Leo Diversity in Cultures Award. Yorkton Film Festival's Golden Sheaf award and multiple awards from the Hollywood North Film Awards including Best Documentary and Best Director for Incorrigible.

Incorrigible - A film about Velma Demerson is currently screening on Knowledge Network. Lee's solo show at at the SUM Gallery (Canada's first Queer Art Gallery) featured My Sweet Peony Remix, Small Pleasures and Portrait of a Chinese Girl.  Lee's comedic drama Ruby's Plan B,  set in a women's sexual health clinic is in development, and their short period drama: The Girl with Big Feet 大腳女孩 has just been released in July 2024.

The City of Vancouver presented Karin with the Mayor's Arts Award for Film and New Media Artist.  They were honoured for excellence in Education awarded by Vancouver Women in Film and Video Society (GEMS). Karin was an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Theatre and Film Production and Sessional Lecturer at Simon Fraser University in the Asia Canada Program in the Department of Humanities.