Joo Hyun (“Mimi”) Lee was born and raised in South Korea before moving to the United States to study filmmaking. Having been raised by a successful screenwriter mother, Mimi grew up witnessing the magic of storytelling up close. She found herself on various sets from a young age, seeing how people from many different departments worked together passionately, all in the name of bringing a film to life.
During her college years in Korea, though she studied French, Mimi actually spent most of her time watching films and studying film theory. After creating her first short, she had found her calling and subsequently moved to New York to study film. She began at the School of Visual Arts and continued her education at Columbia University in New York, NY.
To date, she has written and directed several narrative short films, which have screened at various festivals around the world. Her thesis film at Columbia University, Sweet Corn, was invited to eighteen film festivals throughout the United States, Serbia, Italy, France, Slovakia and South Korea. She received seven awards, including the Directors Guild of America Best Asian American Student Film Award, the CINE Golden Eagle Award and the Best Short Film Awards at various film festivals.
Her expansive experience also covers distribution, marketing and production specifically in Korea, as well as serving as the short film coordinator for the New York Korean Film Festival (2006) and as an international short film juror for the Academy Award qualifying Heartland Film Festival (2014). She produced and directed fashion and commercial videos in New York, and she has been producing numerous film and video productions in South Korea. She taught film and drama at Daekyung University as an adjunct professor, and currently teaches at Chung-Ang University.