Graduation Semester MDP
Visiting Lecturer and Project Adviser (2014)
Lisa Leeman is a documentary professor in the faculty of University of South California - School of Cinematic Arts, and has been a visiting professor in Beijing, China; Amman, Jordan; and Lisbon, Portugal.
She also writes, directs, produces, and edits documentary films, such as the award-winning One Lucky Elephant (Best Editing, Feature Documentary, at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2010).
Lisa’s first film, Metamorphosis: Man Into Woman, won the Filmmakers Trophy upon its premiere at Sundance (1990). It screened in festivals around the world, and has aired in over a dozen countries. Her documentary feature Out of Faith has screened in over twenty festivals internationally. Lisa also co-directed and edited Who Needs Sleep, with renowned cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler.
She produced the feature doc Crazy Wisdom: The Life & Times of Chogyam Trunga by director Johanna Demetrakas, premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival in 2011. Lisa also co-wrote and edited the acclaimed Made in LA (Silverdocs 2007; Los Angeles Film Festival 2007; POV/PBS 2007).
In addition to producing and directing, Lisa has served as a judge at the Sundance Film Festival, as president of the International Documentary Association, and on the boards of the IDA and the National Coalition of Independent Public Broadcasting Producers. Lisa writes articles about the international documentary scene, and on the ethics of documentary filmmaking.
Honours include the once-in-a-lifetime American Film Institute’s Independent Filmmaker Grant, the Western States Media Arts Fellowship, and the ITVS/PMN Station-Independent Partnership Program Grant, as well as numerous awards her films have received.