BIOGRAPHY OF CHRIS LEE
CHRIS LEE is a motion picture and television producer, studio executive, media consultant, venture capital entrepreneur and educator. Mr. Lee was the President of Production at TriStar Pictures and Columbia Pictures, the Founding President of Legendary Pictures, and is the Founder and Director of the University of Hawai‘i Academy for Creative Media System, the first “film school” in the state with programs on ten campuses.
As an executive at TriStar, Mr. Lee oversaw such Academy Award-winning films as JERRY MAGUIRE, PHILADELPHIA, and AS GOOD AS IT GETS. He also worked on numerous other hits such as MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING, LEGENDS OF THE FALL, THE FISHER KING, THE MASK OF ZORRO, GODZILLA and THE PATRIOT.
Mr. Lee executive produced Bryan Singer’s VALKYRIE for United Artists starring Tom Cruise as well as Singer’s SUPERMAN RETURNS for Warner Brothers. At Columbia Pictures he produced SWAT, the groundbreaking CGI feature FINAL FANTASY and Warner Brothers’ BALLISTIC. More recently, he produced WHITE FROG and HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME) which premiered in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival and was submitted to the Motion Picture Academy by the Thai Government for consideration as Best Foreign Film. In China, Mr. Lee produced and edited his first Chinese language feature, ONE FOOT OFF THE GROUND for China’s Hua Yi Brothers and has developed projects for Village Roadshow Asia.
Mr. Lee served as a consultant to Beijing-based Chengtian Entertainment (REDCLIFF, WARLORDS) and Executive Creative Consultant for Korea’s Digital Idea Visual Effects Company. Mr. Lee also executive produced the documentary STATE OF ALOHA, the animated television series Heavy Gear and, with director Joseph Kahn, produced music videos for artists including Janet Jackson, The Backstreet Boys, Faith Hill, Elton John and Destiny’s Child.
Mr. Lee founded and raised the capitol for the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii to recognize the necessity of developing 21st century jobs in the global creative IP marketplace for his isolated home state. ACM is designed as a digital content industry catalyst to restructure the islands’ economy away from its overwhelming dependence on tourism and as a system-wide platform for the students of Hawaii to tell their stories through film, television, video games, computer animation, social media, and smart phone apps for the world-wide audience.
The first Asian-American and minority to be named President of Production at a Hollywood studio, Mr. Lee is a frequent speaker at various events involving the globalization of popular culture and economic development, including: keynoting the International Digital Content Conference Digital for the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), the Taipei City Computer Associations’ Digital Taiwan, the Hong Kong Film Mart’s panel on “Hollywood and Asia – What a Difference a Decade Makes.” The Korean National Film Commission’s Motion Picture Producer’s Business Bootcamp, and the Thai Government’s Animation and Multi- Media Conference on “Global Economic Opportunities Through Digital Entertainment.”
Mr. Lee is a Founder of the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) and is a Founding Board Member of Hawaii European Cinema, which is dedicated to sharing the culture of Europe with the people of Hawaii through the medium of film and to providing financial support for Hawaii’s student film makers. He served as a Juror for the 2015 Hong Kong International Film Festival, President of the Jury for the 2009 Pucheon Network of Asian Fantastic Films, and on the Juries for the 2009 First Asian Films Festival in Singapore, Cinema Italiano 2009 and 2008, the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival All Access Program, the 2007 San Francisco International Asian American Film festival and the 2002 Hawaii International Film Festival.
Mr. Lee graduated from Iolani High School in Hawaii and Yale University with a degree in Political Science. His started in entertainment with ABC’s GOOD MORNING AMERICA and then worked with director Wayne Wang as the Assistant Director and Assistant Editor for the film Dim Sum. Named one of A Magazine’s most influential Asian Americans, Mr. Lee served on the board of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium in Washington DC and as a member of the Committee of 100. He has received numerous honors including the Justice in Action Award from the New York Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Visionary Award from East-West Players in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Chinese in America’s Role Model Award.