Lisa Leeman

Lisa Leeman believes that strong narrative and character-driven films can change the world, one story at a time, through generating an empathy that dismantles stereotypes and builds cultural bridges. Leeman has produced, directed, written & edited award- winning feature & short documentaries for the last twenty-five years. Her work illuminates contemporary social issues through intimate character-driven stories that follow people at critical turning points. Roger Ebert named Leeman’s One Lucky Elephant as one of the best documentaries of 2011. She most recently co-wrote, co- produced, and co-directed the award-winning feature documentary Awake, which screened theatrically for 48 weeks in the U.S. and in 17 countries internationally. Lisa’s work has been seen in theaters, festivals, and broadcasts around the world, including IDFA, PBS, HBO, ARTE, Channel 4. Awards include Sundance’s Filmmakers Trophy for her directorial debut, Metamorphosis: Man into Woman (POV, PBS, 1990), cited as the first American film to chronicle a gender transition, and an Emmy nomination for her short Fender Philosophers. Lisa has served as a judge at the Sundance Film Festival and as the president of the International Documentary Association. She teaches filmmaking at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and has taught master classes on documentary filmmaking in Azerbaijan, China, Jordan, Malawi, Portugal, the Republic of Georgia and the West Bank.



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