About Jennifer Hall Lee
Filmmaker. Speaker. Writer.
About the filmmaker Jennifer Hall Lee, director of Feminist: Stories from Women's Liberation
Jennifer Hall Lee
Growing up on Staten Island, New York in the late 60s and early 70s with my father, a police officer and my mother, a social worker was anything but boring. My mother worked at Willowbrook State School, the institution that housed mentally retarded people on Staten Island and she was instrumental in its closure. She and I then moved to Athens, Georgia and then Atlanta in 1973. We were living in the Quaker Meeting House in Little Five Points, the artists area of Atlanta. This neighborhood had it all, filmmakers, actors, gay activists, political activists, feminists, and the general counter culture of the time. I was a part of a dance theater company with Celeste Miller and I volunteered at the feminist bookstore, "Charis Books and More."
Upon graduating from Hampshire College, I moved to the San Francisco Bay area intent on working at Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic in their optical department (this was when visual effects were created on cameras and film - computer effects were just beginning). I started working in the optical department as a compositor in 1989.
I worked on many feature films at ILM, including FORREST GUMP, GHOST, BACK TO THE FUTURE 2, DEATH BECOMES HER, THE ROCKETEER, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, HOOK, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS and FORREST GUMP.
My first independent film that I directed was about little-known southwestern architect named MARY JANE COLTER: THE DESERT VIEW. It was narrated by Ellen Burstyn. I was drawn to Colter's story because her work was significant and ground-breaking, and I had never heard of her.
Moving to Los Angeles to broaden my film experience I worked in several Hollywood studios including, Warner Bros. Studios, Sony Imageworks, and Technicolor. I worked as a visual effects producer, compositor, editor, digital intermediate conforming editor and I produced miniature effects. I worked technically and creatively. My credits include, RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, THE HUMAN STAIN, KILL BILL Vol. 1+2, FINAL DESTINATION, HERBIE FULLY LOADED, BEOWULF, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and ENCHANTED.
I began to move in a more independent direction with film and made I created and directed a film festival in Winslow's historic theater from 2002 through 2004. For three years the festival screened independent films and hosted a visual effects lecture series that included visual effects professionals.
FEMINIST: STORIES FROM WOMEN’S LIBERATION won "Best of the Fest" for documentary at the Los Angeles Women's International Film Festival. It is a film exploring the significance of the second wave of the women’s liberation movement on our lives. Interviewees include author and NOW founder Betty Friedan, authors and activists Frances M. Beal, Robin Morgan, Sonia Pressman Fuentes, Betita Martinez and many other feminists who are not well-known but should be.
As a speaker I work to connect the importance of history as women along with seeing women as leaders. Speaking engagements include the Berkshire Conference on Women’s History, Hampshire College, The Women, Action and Media National Conference, UCLA, University of Colorado, Boulder, Girls Athletic Leadership School, Denver, CO, Loyola Marymount University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, University of Texas Dallas, and the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Jennifer speaking at the Los Angeles Final Cut User's Group in 2013.