Jennifer Lee to Receive Los Angeles Press Club’s Distinguished Storyteller Award

Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios Jennifer Lee will accept Los Angeles Press Club’s Distinguished Storyteller Award for Storytelling Outside of Journalism.

The ceremony will take place at the 15th annual National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards Gala on December 4, 2022, at the Sheraton Universal Hotel. This is a fundraiser for the Los Angeles Press Club, a 501c3 charitable organization.

“Jennifer upended fairy tales with ‘Frozen’ and broke barriers for women in animation and in Hollywood,” said Los Angeles Press Club President Lisa Richwine. “Her creative storytelling has left a lasting impact on the industry and on audiences around the world.”

Jennifer Lee is the writer/director of “Frozen 2” (2019) and “Frozen” (2013), the top two highest-grossing animated features ever released—with $1.45 billion and $1.27 billion respectively in global box office earnings.

As Chief Creative Officer, Lee has creative oversight of all films, series, shorts and associated projects from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Lee is executive producer for the Academy Award®-winning, hit feature film “Encanto,” the critically-acclaimed “Raya and the Last Dragon,” the upcoming “Strange World” and the 2023 fall theatrical release “Wish” (for which she is also co-writer). She is also the executive producer of the Disney+ projects “Baymax,” “Zootopia+,” and the upcoming series “Iwáju,” among others.

Lee’s career with Walt Disney Animation Studios began in March 2011, when she became the co-writer of 2012’s Oscar®-nominated, arcade-hopping adventure “Wreck-It Ralph.” For their screenplay, she and Phil Johnston received an Annie Award. She then penned the screenplay for “Frozen” and went on to direct the film. In 2014, for her work on “Frozen,” Lee was given Women In Film’s Dorothy Arzner Directors Award at the Crystal + Lucy Awards.

Before joining Walt Disney Animation Studios, Lee built a career in book publishing before she pursued screenwriting, entering Columbia University’s graduate film program in 2001. There she received the William Goldman Award for excellence in screenwriting, and her first feature-length script “Hinged on Stars” won the Columbia University Film Festival.  She graduated in 2005 with an MFA in film. Click here to read Lee’s bio.

The Los Angeles Press Club has a long and storied history as one of the oldest and most prestigious journalist organizations in the country, serving the Southland since 1913.

The club established the NAEJ Awards in 2008 to recognize and honor quality journalism in the fastest-growing segment of the modern media revolution. It remains the sole acknowledgment of its kind in the nation and has become a much-anticipated celebration for those covering the entertainment industry and its artists.

Ryan Seacrest, Byron Allen, Marla Gibbs and Tanya Tucker will also be honored this evening.

For tickets, advertising and sponsorship opportunities go to or contact NAEJ producer Diana Ljungaeus at

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