TOY LEI has had a fascination with action films ever since her parents took her to Chinatown as a kid to watch kung-fu movies every Saturday afternoon. Her first collaberative effort both in-front and behind the camera was for THE HURRICANE FIST (an homage to exactly those old-school Shaw brothers kung-fu movies) which debuted at Comic-con.
She then has been seen in episodic television such as TEEN WOLF, PARENTHOOD, HAPPY ENDINGS, THE AFFAIR and WEIRD LONERS, and recurred on the FOX show SON OF ZORN.
Last summer she worked with two-time Academy Award director Alejandro Inarritu for eight days on his experimental VR short CARNE y ARENA which debuted at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and won an Oscar.
After lamenting the lack of roles for Asian females over 30 especially with the "fun" stuff, she began writing, producing and directing her own projects.
Her directorial, writing and producing debut, THE WEDDING, won her the Top 5 Women Filmmakers award from the Asian-American Film Lab and New York Women in Film and Television.
Her 2015 short BOXER, which she directed, wrote and acted, won not only Best Actress, Best Action and the Grand Prize at the 2015 Asian-American Film Lab 72-hr Shootout, but also won Awards of Merit from the highly competitive Accolade Global Competition for Short Film, Women Filmmakers and Leading Actress,
and just recently, it won the Maverick Movie Award for Special Achievement in Stunts with a nomination from the Connect Film Fest for Best Drama.
The film opened its fest run at the highly coveted Etheria Film Night and won Best Action.
She has now expanded BOXER into a feature and has signed on Kristina Reed, a two-time Oscar winner, as Executive Producer, and is developing several series.
Her latest short, HOW TO GET CAUGHT, has just started its fest run and is already winning Awards of Merit for Short Film and Leading Actress.
Toy, one of the handful of female fight choreographers out there, is currently under a career mentorship with Grace Moss at NBC/Universal.
You can currently see Toy as one of the border patrol officers in CARNE y ARENA which is showing internationally at museums such as The Prado in Milan and LACMA in Los Angeles.