James Lee is best known on the Asian festival circuit for his socially astute art-house dramas, such as his breakout My Beautiful Washing Machine, which won Best Asean Feature Award at the Bangkok International Film Festival in 2005. But in his native Malaysia, Lee is now a mass market showman and a leading purveyor of the country’s wildly popular genre films. His slasher film, Histeria, was one of the biggest domestic hits of 2008 and he’s produced two or three genre titles each year since. His latest project, If It’s Not Now Then When?, premiered at the BIFF on October 5th, marking something of a return to form. A domestic scaled indie-drama, the film tells the story of singularly odd family drifting apart in Kuala Lumpur. Lee spoke with THR about striking a balance between pulp and pet projects and the Malaysian film industry’s tentative steps onto the world stage.