Quentin Lee

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Quentin Lee

1971 (age 47–48)
OccupationDirector, writer
Years active1992–present

Quentin Lee (Chinese name: Chinese: 李孟熙; pinyin: Lǐ Mèngxī; Cantonese Yale: Lei5 Maang6 Hei1; born 1971 in Hong Kong) is a Chinese, Canadian and American film writer, director and producer. He is most notable for the television series he co-created Comedy InvAsian and feature films The Unbidden (2016), White Frog (2012), The People I've Slept With (2009), Ethan Mao (2004), Drift (2000), Flow (1996), and the film short To Ride a Cow (1993).[1] Lee also co-directed Shopping for Fangs (1997) with Justin Lin, known for his controversial film Better Luck Tomorrow (2002).[2] Lee's films are noticeable for containing male lead characters who are Asian and gay, two minority groups generally not seen as lead characters in mainstream Hollywood films.[3] He attended UCLA graduate film school, Yale University for an M.A. in English and Literature and UC Berkeley for his B.A. in English.

Early life[edit]

Born in Hong Kong, Lee immigrated to Montreal, Canada, when he was 16. He attended UC Berkeley, Yale University and UCLA for his B.A. in English, M.A. in English and M.F.A. in Film Directing, respectively.

Feature films[edit]

Lee founded Margin Films in 1996 as a production company; Margin Films moved into film distribution starting with the film Bugis Street.[4]


Flow (1996) was Lee's first feature film, which focused on a gay filmmaker talking about his work to an unseen friend behind a camera, and then became a series of films within a film, as the audience is then shown four of the filmmaker's short films. The film screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Turin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the London Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and Outfest and received positive reviews from L.A. Weekly as well as The Los Angeles Times.[5]

Shopping for Fangs[edit]

Shopping for Fangs was Lee's second feature film, which he co-directed with Justin Lin while both filmmakers attended UCLA Film School. The film stars John Cho and is considered to be a cult classic in the Asian American independent film genre.

Drift and Ethan Mao[edit]

Drift (2000) was Lee's third feature film, which starred Reggie Lee, Greyson Dayne and Jonathon Roessler,[6] and which got nominated for Best Feature film at the Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Ethan Mao (2004) was Lee's fourth feature film, which won an Audience Award at the Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Jun Hee Lee starred as the title character, Ethan Mao.


Lee's first foray into documentary film, 0506HK (2007),[7] premiered July 2007 at the Vancouver International Film Centre Hong Kong Stories film series, commemorating the 10-year anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China. The film explored his personal and political perspectives on whether to return to Hong Kong, as well as the evolving cultural and social climate, through interviews with family members and friends living and working in both Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

The People I've Slept With[edit]

Lee's film The People I've Slept With - which was written and produced by Koji Steven Sakai - premiered in the United States at the 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival, internationally at the 2009 São Paulo International Film Festival, the 2010 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival in Asia, and the 2010 Hamburg Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in Europe. The film also stars Karin Anna Cheung, Archie Kao, James Shigeta, Lynn Chen, Randall Park, Elizabeth Sung, Wilson Cruz, Rane Jameson, Brian Yang and Tim Chiou.[8]

White Frog[edit]

Released in 2012, White Frog stars Joan Chen, B. D. Wong, Kelly Hu, Booboo Stewart, Harry Shum Jr., Tyler Posey. David Henry Hwang also served as the film's Executive Producer and it was written by Ellie Wen and Fabienne Wen.

The Unbidden

Released in 2016, The Unbidden stars Tamlyn Tomita, Julia Nickson, Michelle Krusiec, Hayden Szeto, Amy Hill, Elizabeth Sung, Akemi Look, Karin Anna Cheung, Kimberly-Rose Wolter, and Jason Yee. It written by Narhee Ahn. The feature world premiered at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in 2016.

Short films and short documentaries[edit]

Lee's short films include To Ride a Cow (1993), Fall 1990 (1999), Little Love (2010), a short documentary entitled A Woman Named Canyon Sam (2011) about author and performance artist Canyon Sam, and Today Has Been Weird (2011).


Lee has also published a novel, entitled Dress Like a Boy in 2000. It has received positive reviews in publications such as AsianWeek and XY Magazine.

In October 2009, Lee's graphic novel Campus Ghost Story, created in collaboration with artist John Hahn was published by Fresh Fear, an imprint of Margin Films.[9]


Lee produced all the films that he has directed. In addition, he served as a producer on the feature film Chink starring Jason Tobin, Eugenia Yuan and Tzi Ma, directed by Stanley Yung and written by Koji Steven Sakai, who wrote his previous film, The People I've Slept With. He was also a producer on Ringo Le's feature film, Big Gay Love (2013).[10] He has also served as a producer on the short documentary, Taky Kimura: The Dragon's Legacy (2010), directed by Mellissa Tong.


As director[edit]

As cinematographer[edit]

  • Taky Kimura: The Dragon's Legacy (2000)

As actor[edit]

See also[edit]

Other Chinese LGBT film directors[edit]


  1. ^ "Quentin Lee — filmmaker". The Advocate. 2001-08-14. Retrieved 2007-03-19.[dead link]
  2. ^ Gates, Anita (1998-05-15). "FILM REVIEW; Is He a Werewolf, or Just a Little Hairy?". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  3. ^ Sherrie Li, How 'Gaysian' Filmmaker Quentin Lee Defies Hollywood Stereotypes, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2013-05-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "About the Company". Margin Films. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  5. ^ See FirstPost, Flow, Trailer, http://www.firstpost.com/topic/person/quentin-lee-flow-trailer-video-5GHgIA2_Id8-49139-3.html[permanent dead link] ("Each one reveals a vibrant imagination. What ensues is edgy, wryly amusing, tender, wise and credible." - Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times. "[Lee]'s way of symbolism is sure handed. These shorts feel emphatically cohesive and immediate." - Hazel-Dawn Humpert, LA Weekly
  6. ^ Michael Glitz The Advocate (magazine), 5 March 2002, p. 52, at Google Books
  7. ^ Harris, Mark (2007-06-28). "Hong Kong through the lens". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 2007-07-18.
  8. ^ Johnson, G. Allen (2010-02-11), "'The People I've Slept With': Edgy youth comedy", San Francisco Chronicle
  9. ^ "Quentin Lee releases "Campus Ghost Story" graphic novel" (Press release). Fresh Fear. 2010-02-18. Archived from the original on 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2014-05-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]