Lije grew up in Northern Michigan helping out with his younger siblings while his mom worked as a waitress, and skateboarding as much as he could. He planned an escape to California as soon as he was old enough to drive.
After a failed attempt to move out west at 16, he finally made it to California to attend graduate school in San Diego. He eventually found his way to LA.
Since then, he’s produced over 10 feature films, directed two of them, wrote one of them, created a short that went viral, a music video, and produced/co-directed a skateboarding docuseries which brought him back to his roots as a teenage skater working with the men he idolized growing up.
As a writer and director, Lije is drawn to “young people doing extraordinary things”. As a producer, he aims to make impactful material with new directors.
Recently, he’s worked on CONCRETE KIDS and THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON. Lije wrote, directed, and produced CONCRETE KIDS over 17 nights with two 9-year-old kids and a budget of $25K. THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON stars a young man with Down syndrome, Zach Gottsagen, and Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson. The Orchard will distribute CONCRETE KIDS and distribution for THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON is in the works. THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON brought him very close to mentors Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, and T Bone Burnett.
Lije has several movies and TV shows in various stages of production; a live-action/animation crossover TV show with ZAG ENTERPRISES, a docuseries on a group of skateboarders in recovery, and several projects with the boys from THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON.
Lije lives in Venice, CA with his wife and two children, and he still surfs or skates every single day.