Lee is an award winning LGBT filmmaker and an east coast Connecticut native who began her career as a theater actor/director.

Lee moved to Los Angeles and was a natural producer bringing to fruition over a dozen independent films.

In 2008 she directed the multi award-winning short, The Ten Rules: A Lesbian Survival Guide in which she sold and became the first Lesbian television series ever. It was the Logo/MTV/Viacom television series Exes & Ohs, a half-hour single camera comedy about lesbian dating. Lee co-created, executive produced and directed the pilot, which aired for two seasons and was nominated for several GLAAD Awards.

Lee has worked extensively in the television long-form world directing/co-writing over a dozen MOW’s. She is a go-to director/writer for The Hallmark Channel.

Lee was one of 10 women picked from thousands for the first year of the prestigious NBC/UNIVERSAL DIVERSITY PROGRAM, FEMALE FORWARD in which she was hired to direct multiple episodes of GOOD GIRLS and subsequently and an episode of THE GOOD DOCTOR. This has given her the ability to continue to rise in episodic directing.

Lee has also directed Avril Lavigne’s Give You What You Like Music video in conjunction with her film Babysitter’s Black Book, MOW for Lifetime and collaborated on Avril’s most recent Warrior Video honoring our front line workers.

As well, Lee has several movies in development that she has sold from true stories, and original ideas as a producer, writer and director for Hallmark and Sony.

She is tremendously passionate about furthering her episodic career. “We are in the golden age of television. The incredible stories that are being created and told from talented, creative writers and showrunners is mind blowing! Getting to be a guest and tell their stories with the best cast and crews around is truly a dream come true”.

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Articles / Press


NBC’s Female Forward initiative subsidizes opportunities for women directors to helm their first TV episode: ‘It changed the lives of everybodyBY REBECCA SUN

Good Girls showrunner Jenna Bans was skeptical when NBC scripted programming co- presidents Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta approached her to take on a first-time episodic director as part of the network’s new Female Forward initiative. “I admired what Lisa and Tracey were trying to do,” she says, “but a problematic director’s
cut can set the showrunner back days, if not weeks. Time lost to a bad cut, a problem on set -all of it directly affects time with my fam- ily. I was deeply concerned that the episode would suffer because of her inexperience.”
Katz and Pakosta admit that it was a big ask. To sweeten the pot, NBC pays for participants to shadow on up to three episodes before taking the reins. The network offers to hire a second, experienced director as a guarantor – “a backstop, not a babysitter,” says Katz – for any show that requests

 one, as well as covers any reshoots. “We’re not going to jeopardize our shows for anything,” Katz adds. “We’re going to minimize risk as much as possible.” Unlike other industry programs designed to boost opportunities for directors from traditionally marginalized backgrounds, Female Forward is the first to guarantee an in-season episodic credit. (This year, the network’s Emerging Director program, which for 10 years has provided


Showrunner Jenna Bans (second from left) and director Lee Friedlander (in green jacket) were flanked by NBC scripted programming co-presidents Lisa Katz (far left) and Tracey Pakosta on the set of Good Girls.

shadowing and mentorship, is doing it too for ethni- cally underrepresented male and nonbinary helmers.) It was then-NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke who suggested the episode guarantee if the wake of a 2017 pilot season that had only one female direc- tor booked. “Getting your first [episodic credit] allows you to crack open that door,” explains Pakosta. That’s what Lee Friedlander learned after Bans was persuaded to put her in the direc- tor’s chair on the set of last season’s Good Girls. Although Friedlander had more than a dozen credits during 15 years of directing-she’s a go-to movie-of-the-week helmer for Hallmark – she had tried and failed for years to get into episodic television. “I’ve had hundreds of meetings, always really close, but the ultimate employment trigger never happened,” she says, echoing the experience of many other veteran female directors who cut their teeth in indie film or TV movies but have yet to score their big break in the majors: “So many people have to say yes.” Bans was quickly taken by Friedlander’s enthusiasm and preparation. “She shad- owed multiple directors and was with us for months, more time than was required by the program,” she says. “What I was particularly impressed by was that while Lee had a specific vision, she also was incredibly collaborative.” Friedlander’s work made such an impres- sion that Bans invited her back to direct not one but two episodes this season. In all, eight of the 10 women in Female Forward’s inau- gural class have been asked back to direct additional episodes of an NBC or Universal TV-produced show, and they’re now fielding offers from other networks and studios, too. “I’ve been called for four or five shows – it changed my life and the lives of everybody in the program,” says Friedlander. “That first episode is the break of a lifetime.” THR


What it’s like to be 16 and accompany ABC chief Karey Burke to industry events



she’s my best friend. In the begin- ning of my sidekick days, I would stay close to her; I felt so small, especially next to the ladies in high heels. But now I’m grown(ish) and love to walk around by myself. Sometimes I stay with her because of her interesting conversations. Sometimes I get lucky and see my favorite

celebrities or the real-life versions of the characters I watch on TV.At these events, I’m usually the young-est. But my mom always makes me feel comfortable. The world is such a weird place, and Los Angeles itself is its own uni- verse. But these experiences help me find and understand myself. They were a big part of how I grew up and who I am now. I’ll never forget my first big premiere: Avengers: Infinity War. I was raised watch- ing Iron Man and Black Widow and the Avengers family save the world. To be in the same room was such a euphoric feel- ing and changed part of my soul. Joining my mom at industry events

taught me how to hold my ground, even when everyone around you is set on mov- ing, and sometimes, moving you. It showed me not only my own strength against the tide of judging eyes and backhanded comments, but also my mom’s. She has always been kick-ass, but seeing her at work showed me why she is so successful and how she can stand her ground as an authentic individual in a crowd of people molding themselves to please others. I hope my mom knows how incredibly, ridiculously, infinitely grateful I am to be her sidekick. I guess she does now! When she reads this, she’ll probably squeeze my hand and smile.