Tammy Nguyen Lee is a passionate producer, filmmaker and actor who founded ATG with her family as a result of her own experience as an American actor and filmmaker. Fueled by her determination to give other Asian Americans a creative outlet, she also strives to raise awareness for Asian American issues and aid for worthy causes.
A first generation Vietnamese American, she grew up a bit unconventional by nature, dedicating her free time to honing her skills in the performing and fine arts. She attended gifted and talented schools, graduating near the top of her class with a full International Baccalaureate diploma from Garland High School. She received a scholarship to attend Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, where she studied abroad in Paris and graduated with honors with a B.A. in Cinema and double minors in French and Business. She later was accepted into the University of California – Los Angeles’ (UCLA) elite Producers Program, where she received her M.F.A. and became a twice-over Finalist in the Producers Guild-sponsored UCLA Marketplace competition. For her work in the arts, she has received several national scholarships and honors, including the Women In Film.Dallas College Scholarship and the Mickey Dude Diversity Fellowship. Her short films have screened at film festivals nationwide.
A passionate, creative and innovative leader, she has been an active advocate, volunteer and speaker as a former Miss Asian American Texas and for such SMU groups as East Asian Student Association (President), Program Council (Films Chair), Asian Council (Secretary) and non-profit community organizations like Wilkinson Center, AIDS Resource Center of Dallas, Deep Ellum Film Festival, Asian American Professionals of Dallas (PA2), Asian Professional Exchange (APEX) – Los Angeles, Monster Diversity Leadership Program, Asian American Leadership & Educational Conference (AALEC), The Vietnamese American Center of Greater Dallas and The Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce. She previously served on the Women In Film.Dallas Board as Membership and Programs Co-Chair. She is a recipient of numerous scholarships and leadership honors, including the prestigious 2010 SMU Distinguished Alumni Emerging Leader Award, given to an alumae/alumnus who has graduated within the past 15 years and brought distinction to the University. She was honored in 2012 by the National Association of Asian American Professionals (Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter) with a Leaders of Excellence Award. In 2015, the National Association Asian American Professionals inducted her into the NAAAP 100, an award nominated and voted upon by NAAAP Board and offered annually to the most influential leaders who have made significant contributions to their profession and the Asian community. In 2016, she was honored with an Audrey Kaplan “Inspiring Women of the Southwest” award by the Southwest Jewish Congress for her work bridging communities.
Tammy produced and directed her first feature documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, an independent passion project that was released in 2009 and took nearly five years to produce. The film won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film (Vietnamese International Film Festival) and the Documentary Audience Choice Award (Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival) and has screened at more than a dozen films festivals internationally. She is currently directing/producing ATG’s newest documentary that uncovers stories of domestic violence in the Asian community, Light of Day.
A seasoned actor, she has appeared in films, television, national commercials and print campaigns. She has worked extensively in film/television production and has overseen the development and marketing of a heavy slate of non-fiction television series and documentary programs for major cable networks. Now, as a working mom to three adorable children – Gabriella, Austen and Tennyson, Tammy’s focus is on her family, spearheading ATG’s mission, supporting other causes dear to her and continuing her work as an artist.
What does going Against The Grain mean to you? “Daring to go bravely in the direction that no one else has. Forging a unique path apart from where others have gone. Standing steadfast and passionately to one’s own voice and beliefs.”
Quote to live by: “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however.” – Richard Bach, Illusions
Passionate about: Family, film, food, traveling and leading a life of meaning and purpose
Favorite food: Soup, comfort food and street/fair food
Can’t live without: My loves (especially my three children) and really good food
Color Personality: True Blue/Action Orange