Celebrate the A100, the most impactful Asian Pacific Leaders.

Anita Lee

Chief Programming Officer, TIFF

Anita Lee, TIFF’s Chief Programming Officer, boasts a distinguished 25-year career in the media industry, guiding strategic initiatives for TIFF and the TIFF Lightbox. Her extensive background includes serving as the Executive Producer and Studio Head of NFB Ontario, where she shaped the programmatic vision of Canada’s award-winning public agency in Toronto.

Under Lee’s leadership at NFB Ontario, the studio evolved into an international powerhouse in documentary film, digital media, and creative technology, earning prestigious accolades such as the TIFF People’s Choice Award, Toronto Critics Prize, New York’s Critics Prize, two Peabody awards, Emmy and Webby awards, Dupont Columbia award, the Japan Prize, and Oscar shortlists. Notably, she recently clinched the 2023 Canadian Screen Award for Best Feature Length Documentary for To Kill a Tiger.

Lee’s producing prowess is highlighted by the critically acclaimed film, Stories We Tell, by Sarah Polley. In 1997, she founded the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, serving as its Executive Director and Director of Programming. Her commitment to the festival was recognized in 2021 with the Anita Lee Firehorse Award for changemakers.

Beyond film, Lee is a pioneer in digital media, establishing NFB’s principal DOC VR Lab in Toronto and steering the studio’s digital strategy for production and distribution. Her dedication to diversity is evident in NFB Ontario’s equity strategy, spotlighting racially diverse talent and showcasing high-profile works by BIPOC directors globally.

Lee’s impact extends to her 10-year chairmanship of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival board. She received the WIFT Mentorship Award in 2022 and the Dream Tree Award for elevating the profiles of Korean Canadians. As a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences since 2016, Anita Lee remains a transformative force, shaping and advancing the Canadian film industry through her leadership and innovation.