Filmmaker and activist Iara Lee is the founder and director of Cultures of Resistance (CoR), an umbrella for a group of organizations she created to support projects that promote peace and raise awareness of human rights issues. One of these organizations is Caipirinha Productions, a mixed-media production company. Under this label, Lee has directed several short and feature-length documentaries. Her latest film, Cultures of Resistance (2010), demonstrates the mission of CoR by looking at how creative artists from around the world are contributing to conflict prevention and resolution. Lee’s 2009 short Battle for the Xingu was created under CoR’s Make Films Not War initiative and won the Arpa/AT&T Award for Environmental Conservation and Stewardship at the 2008 Arpa International Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Grand Jury Award for the Best Short Documentary at the 2009 United Nations Association Film Festival. The film follows indigenous Kayapó protestors from the Brazilian Amazon who are trying to prevent a dam that threatens their region. Lee’s earlier films include Beneath the Borqa in Afghanistan (2002) and her first full length documentary, Synthetic Pleasures (1995), which deals with the impact of high technology on mass culture. Synthetic Pleasures was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival.
Lee is a member of the President's Council of The International Crisis Group and of the Council of Advisors of the National Geographic Society. CoR supports the National Geographic All Roads Film Project through the Caipirinha Foundation, another of CoR’s family of organizations. Lee was born in Ponta Grossa, Brazil, and raised in São Paulo. From 1984 to 1989, she was the producer of the São Paulo International Film Festival. In 1989, Lee moved to New York City, which is still her home base.
Work featured: Battle for the Xingu