I believe in the social function of art. The alienation of the artist from communities is a power blackout that goes both ways. I suggest that to forfeit the power of art to the mystification of ‘individual genius’ in pursuit of art for art’s sake is a strategy of political neutralization.

My recent documentary work has been built around the experiences and stories of migrant workers in Canada. These projects have been produced in conversation with migrant justice activists and political allies in the broader social movement that counters border imperialism.  Activating the screen is a focus of my documentary work and creating spaces for my documentary projects to be discussed, expanded upon or used as an organizing tool is paramount to me. I have worked with unions, schools, community organizers, arts groups and faith groups to activate my documentary work.


Documentaries

2016 MIGRANT DREAMS (92 mins) Producer/Director (TVO) 

A group of migrant farm workers dare to resist the systemic oppression and exploitation from their brokers, employers and Canadian government in small-town Ontario.

FULL LINK: https://www.tvo.org/video/documentaries/migrant-dreams-feature-version


2012 TEO IN TORONTO (4:26)  Producer/Director/Writer (TVO)

A migrant worker and street based youth connect over a community garden project in Toronto.

FULL LINK: https://tvo.org/video/programs/why-poverty-ontario-short-documentaries/teo-in-toronto


2012 JACK: THE INSPIRATIONAL EDUCATOR AT RU (6:49) Producer/Director/Writer (Ryerson University)

FULL LINK: https://vimeo.com/80506705


2012 THE REAL INGLORIOUS BASTARDS (43 mins), Director/Writer  (History Television)

Jewish spies behind enemy lines in World War II

  • Winner: Best History Documentary, Canadian Screen Award

2010 The Real MASH (42 mins) Director/Writer (History Television)

The voices of the real doctors and nurses who served on the frontlines.


2010 BADGE OF PRIDE (43 mins) Director/Writer (CBC-The Passionate Eye)

Exploration of the lives of gay cops in Toronto.


2009 MY TOXIC BABY (45 mins) Director/Writer (Global Television)

Examination of toxins in baby products.


2008 SEDITION (16 mins) Director/Writer

Spoken Word Poetry in Political Action


2008 TIGER SPIRIT (72 mins) Producer/Director/Writer (NFB & History Television)

History, memory and re-imagining borderlines between the two Koreas

FULL LINK: https://www.nfb.ca/film/tiger_spirit/


2006 BORDERLESS (16 mins) Producer/Director/Writer

A docu-poem about undocumented workers in Canada’s underground labour economy.


2005 HOGTOWN: The Politics of Policing (96 mins) Producer/Director/Writer (Toronto 1)

A look at the politics of policing in Toronto, Canada.  

  • Winner: Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs International Film Festival

2003 EL CONTRATO (52 mins), Director/Writer (NFB)

One season with Mexican migrant farmworkers in Canada reveals labour vulnerability and family isolation.

FULL LINK: https://www.nfb.ca/film/el_contrato/ 

 

Min Sook in the Media

2017 Mississauga.com “4th Annual “Immigrant Women of Inspiration” for 2017”

2016 This Magazine “New documentary exposes Canada’s abusive migrant labour program

2016 CBC Ottawa All In A Day "Director Min Sook Lee's latest documentary 'Migrant Dreams'"

2016 Business News Network "Migrants' dreams vanishing in Ontario"

2016 The Agenda with Steve Paikin "The Lives of Migrant Workers"

2016 Calgary Herald "Temporary foreign workers vulnerable to predatory recruiters"

2016 CBC Windsor "New documentary on exploited Leamington workers"

2016 Toronto Star "Migrant workers caravan hits Toronto en route to Parliament Hill"

2016 James Bawden "Migrant Dreams: What Canadian TV Is All About"

2016 TVO Current Affairs "Separating reality from myth in Canada's migrant worker problem"

2016 TVO Current Affairs "Meet the workers of Migrant Dreams and find out where they are today"

2016 TVO Current Affairs "How Migrant Dreams reveals the dark side of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program"

2016 She Does The City "Migrant Dreams: Exploitation is Alive and Well in Canada"

2016 The Current CBC Radio "Migrant Dreams Broken As Workers Face Exploitation on Ontario Farms"

2016 Sirius XM "The Charles Adler Show: Min Sook Lee"

2016 Hot Docs "Meet The Filmmaker Min Sook Lee 'Migrant Dreams' "

2016 Daily Vice "The Filmmaker Exposing Exploitation in Canada's Migrant Worker Program"

2016 National Post "Hot Docs film dashes immigration fantasy, reveals harsh world of migrant workers in Canadian greenhouse"

2016 New Canadian Media "Documentary Explores Plight of Migrant Workers"

2016 Calgary Herald "New Documentary Reveals Harsh World of Migrant Workers in Canadian Greenhouses"

2016 Women & Hollywood "Hot Docs 2016 Women Directors: Meet Min Sook Lee - 'Migrant Dreams' "

2016 Macleans "Canada's Uncomfortable reliance on Migrant Workers"

2016 Rabble "Migrant agricultural workers dreaming a better future"

Awards and Honours

2018 Canadian Spotlight Artist, Reel Asian International Film Festival

2017 Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Labour Reporting for Migrant Dreams.

2017 Canadian Hillman Prize for Journalism for Migrant Dreams

2016 Hot Docs ‘Top Ten Audience Choice’ for Migrant Dreams

2016 Best Canadian Documentary Award, Fort McMurray International Film Festival - Migrant Dreams

2016 Cinema Politica Alanis Obomsawin Award for Commitment to Community and Resistance

2015 Graduate Fellowship for Academic Distinction Award, York University

2014 Winner, Canadian Screen Award – Best History Documentary, The Real Inglorious Bastards

2013 Winner, Yorkton Film Festival, Best History Doc, The Real Inglorious Bastards

2012 Induction of the ‘Min Sook Lee Labour Arts Award’ presented by Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts

2009 Winner of the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program, Tiger Spirit

2007 Recipient of the Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Award, presented by the United Farm Workers of America

2005 Winner of Best Canadian Feature Length Documentary Award, Hot Docs Festival, Hogtown: the Politics of Policing

2005 Winner, Best Feature Documentary, Innoversity Creative Summit, Hogtown: the Politics of Policing

2005 Nomination for Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program, El Contrato

2003 Best Documentary, IberoAmerican Festival, El Contrato

1999 CIUT Asian Accent Star-Picks Award for Community Activism, University of Toronto.