Jean Lee

Interview with Jean Lee, Writer and Director of Original Sin


Q: Can you tell me more about how “Original Sin” was conceived?

A: Maia, César and I wanted to make our first feature with the resources we had available to us. In other words, we wanted to make an opportunity for ourselves. So given this context, Maia and I started brainstorming story ideas that were meaningful to us. We were deeply inspired by the women in our lives – friends, sisters, mothers, grandmothers…and from there we borrowed and hyperbolized moments, aspirations, and desires that then became Pecado Original.


Q: What are some key elements of the film?

A: Comedy! We want to entertain our audiences and make them laugh. Then, through satire, provoke thought and discussion.

Q: What drew you into film-making?

A: I made a documentary during my undergrad at Penn about Philadelphia’s sex trafficking industry. Initially, I thought this would be a good way to parlay my creative interests into law since Penn had an amazing documentary and law program. However, throughout the process I began to realize that my passion for advocacy work and interacting with underrepresented communities could be better accomplished through filmmaking.

I was scared of this realization at first for obvious reasons – only heathens went into the arts. But my amazing community challenged me to pursue it. This group of people included Penn Professor Peter Decherney, Penn Alumni Luis Gomez, Mariya Khandros, Sarah Stewart, my sister, my then church community at Antioch Church, and many other Penn colleagues.


Q: Where else has “Original Sin” been screened?

A: Santa Cruz FF, Cardiff International FF, Downtown Los Angeles FF, Austin FF, and Milan International Film Festival


Q: What is the next step for “Original Sin”?

A: More festivals, sales and distribution!

Q: What is the next steps for you?

A: I’m in post on a Science Fiction Young Adult short film STRONG, which is a proof of concept for a series.

I’m also developing my next feature, which is a horror comedy.

And finally, I’m working on a Korean Latina anthology series with Maia about women in desperate pursuit of happy endings. It’s called American Operas…and it’s a comedy.


Q: How can people find our more information about you and the film online?