Sook-Yin Lee

Vancouver , BC
British Columbia CA
Lives in
Toronto , ON
Ontario CA

Actress, musician, filmmaker. Born and raised in a Vancouver suburb, Lee was part of the city's alternative scene until the mid-nineties when she moved to Toronto to work on Much Music as a VJ. Bringing her own unique personality and culture to the network, Lee's show The Wedge was a staple of the alternative lifestyle of the 1990s. The openly bisexual Lee is known for kissing a woman on-air, the day that sexual orientation was added to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1995. As an actress, Lee appeared in two of American director John Cameron Mitchell’s features and was at the center of a controversy in 2003 when it was revealed that she would appear in his new film Shortbus. She was working on a radio show called Definitely Not the Opera, when the CBC initially threatened to fire her if she appeared in the film because the script called for non-simulated intercourse and masturbation on screen. Many filmmakers and entertainers came to her defense and the film would debut at Cannes in 2006. As a filmmaker, Lee has been making politically charged short films since the early 1990s, but she is best known for her first feature film Year of the Carnivore, from 2009, and her contribution to the choral love film about the Queen City, Toronto Stories. In Year of the Carnivore, the precocious lead character Sammy Smalls seeks to gain sexual experience in order to win back the love of a friend who was unimpressed after their disastrous one-night stand. Her segment in Toronto Stories, "The Brazilian", explores similar questions of unrequited love and the duality of sexual attraction/repulsion. Lee continues to be a part of Toronto's eclectic art scene.