Guest speaker: Edgy Lee

Edgy Lee never made up her mind about what kind of artist she was going to be.  In consequence, she is a writer, filmmaker, producer, composer and web TV pioneer.

Here is the web site of her company, Filmworks Pacific.  And here is her major web project, Pacific Network TV.

What follows in the jump copy is her bio.  We’re lucky to have someone with this wealth of creative experience.  Bring questions.  (I, for instance, am going to ask just what she did on the Tonight Show.  But I am sure your questions will be a lot more serious.  Edgy has the most independent film and video/web experience in town.  Take advantage.)

Bio: Her great-great grandfather, Wong Kwai, was the Kingdom of Hawaii’s first Vice Consul to China.  Much of her work is storytelling deeply rooted in Native Hawaiian history. Her film, THE HAWAIIANS: REFLECTING SPIRIT, premiered at the opening of the Smithsonian Institution Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.

Other award-winning films include PAPAKOLEA: A STORY OF HAWAIIAN LAND (1998, Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award, Independent Program) and PANIOLO O HAWAI’I: COWBOYS OF THE FAR WEST (2000 CINE Golden Eagle; Chicago International Film & Video INTERCOM, Best Documentary History and Best Writing).

Los Angeles Times film critic Kevin Thomas, “What Lee has done in irresistible fashion is a splendid example of the enduring power of the traditional documentary. The kind that brings alive an unfamiliar world in a straightforward manner that is as entertaining as it is informative.”

Her documentary WAIKIKI IN THE WAKE OF DREAMS garnered 2001 New York Film & Video Festival Best Cinematography and Best Editing awards.  She also cowrote the book of the same title.

In 2004 and 2005, Edgy produced two feature documentary films on methamphetamine that were simulcast,  commercial-free, on 11 television stations across the State of Hawaii.

Her company FilmWorks Pacific continues to produce short films on various social issues. Edgy also produced a CD with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in a compilation of rare traditional Tibetan music performed by artists living in exile, with narration by the late Rev. Abraham Akaka and the late Kumu John Lake.

Classically trained in piano and violin, Edgy left Hawaii to study fine art at the San Francisco Art Institute.  While in California she began modeling for the Nina Blanchard Agency and for the next fifteen years, she appeared in numerous television commercials, series & feature films including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and as co-host of the children’s series, Bill Cosby’s Picture Pages.

In 1987 she began to independently produce and write.  As an in-studio record producer, she produced famed Jamaican “Godfather of Reggae” Joe Higgs,  The Wailers and other artists.  She composed music with jazz legend Wayne Shorter and with film composer Joseph Vitarelli.

In 2007 she founded Pacific, a Hawaiian internet portal to the world, a nexus for arts, culture, and environmental news, entertainment, and educational programming from the Pacific region, streamed free to the pubic. Her television work includes the hit weekly series Local Ventures, now in its 3rd season; Aloha Waikiki, currently broadcasting throughout Waikiki; Artists of Hawaii;  Local Justice, America’s first interactive TV courtroom series; Shaka Shakedown; and a prime time one-hour special on education entitled, How We Learn.

Edgy is happy to be living back in her home town, “The only place where you get three starches in a single meal.”


  • 2007 Founder, Pacific Network
  • 2005 Molokai Film Festival  Aloha Filmmakers Visionary Award
  • 2005 Ten Who Made a Difference, Honolulu Star Bulletin
  • 2004 Pacific Business News Leadership Award, Non Profit Category
  • 2003 Honolulu City Council Award for Outstanding Community Service
  • 2002 New York International Independent Film& Video Festival – Best Cinematography
  • 2002 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival Best Editing
  • 2001 Founder, Sunset on the Beach (the Waikiki open-air film venue)
  • 2001 HVCB Literary Award
  • 2000 HVCB Kahili Award Best in Show Award
  • 2000 HVCB Broadcast Media Award
  • 1998 Chicago International Film Festival INTERCOM, Silver Plaque
  • 1998 Chicago International Film Festival, Individual Achievement Writing
  • 1995 National Educational Media Network Silver Apple
  • 1994 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver for Independent Programming
  • 1993 CINE Golden Eagle

Contact (808) 599-6403, ext. 1


About John Heckathorn

These are my teaching sites for Hawaii Pacific University
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s