Iara Lee (born 1971) is a Brazilian-American filmmaker and activist who is best known for her award-winning documentaries about social and environmental justice. She is the founder and director of Cultures of Resistance Network, an organization that uses art and film to promote peace and raise awareness of global issues.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Lee was raised in a family of diplomats, politicians, and activists. She was exposed to different cultures and causes at a young age, and developed a passion for film-making. After finishing high school, she moved to San Francisco to attend film school at the Academy of Art University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in film production.
After graduating, Lee began to make her own films focusing on a range of social and environmental issues. Her first documentary, Synthetic Pleasures (1995), was an exploration of the relationship between technology and culture. The documentary was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and was the first of many projects that Lee has produced over the years.
In 2002, Lee founded Cultures of Resistance Network, an organization that uses art and film to promote peace and raise awareness of global issues. Since then, the organization has produced several award-winning documentaries, including Burmese Refugee (2006), a film about the plight of the Burmese people; and Burma VJ (2008), a documentary about the Burmese pro-democracy movement.
Lee has also had the opportunity to work with some of the world's leading human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and PEN International. As an activist, she has also been involved in campaigns to protect the environment, promote gender equality, and support Indigenous rights.
Lee's work has been featured in a number of prestigious publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post. She has also been honored with numerous awards, including the Earth Island Institute’s Global Environmental Award and the International Documentary Association’s Distinguished Documentary Award.
Today, Iara Lee continues to use her films and activism to promote social and environmental justice around the world. She is a passionate advocate for the rights of marginalized communities and a tireless defender of the environment.