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    Posted March 13, 2010 by
    Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
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    Interview With Diana Lee Inosanto, Director of "The Sensei"


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     MikeJohnston covers independent music and film on CNN iReport.
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    Set in the late ’70s and early ’80s when AIDS was first ravaging both urban and rural communities throughout America, The Sensei recreates the intolerant hysteria that ostracized those who first took ill, and the rampant homophobia within martial arts schools that denied young gays the opportunity to learn how to defend themselves against hate crimes accelerated by fears of the disease. Though nearly 30 years ago, attitudes have not changed as much as one might expect. When The Sensei screened in early December on World AIDS Day at the Anchorage International Film Festival, Inosanto received an enthusiastic standing ovation even as one guy told her his black belt would be stripped away if he took in a gay student. Since then she has received support from gay martial artists who remain closeted or others who feel they cannot openly take a stance.

    Diana Lee Inosanto (born May 29, 1973) is a Filipino American actress, stuntwoman, martial artist and film director. Inosanto grew up in Torrance, California, and is the daughter of Dan Inosanto and Sue Ann Reveal, and godchild of Bruce Lee, after whom she was named. As a single mother she raised a son with autism. In 1995 she married Ron Balicki, one of her father's former students, and with whom she has two sons.

    Inosanto grew up surrounded by the martial arts world, studying many forms including Jeet Kune Do which she learned from her father, Dan Inosanto, who was a student of Jeet Kune Do founder Bruce Lee. She has appeared on the cover of numerous martial arts magazines including "Black Belt," "Martial Arts," "Inside Karate," "Self Defense," and "Inside Kung Fu." Diana was named Woman of the year by Black Belt Magazine 2009. (Wikipedia)

    THE SENSEI is available for purchase on DVD at now! Additionally, the film is now released digitally through multiple platforms including,Amazon .com,,, Dish Network, EchoStar, iNDemand, COX ONDemand, Time Warner Cable ONDemand, Comcast Cable ONDemand and iTunes. Film website:

    Watch it now on Amazon VOD

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