Best known as an actor, Leslie Hope now finds herself on the other side of the camera. She directed her first television movie for Lifetime, the charming A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride*, followed quickly by a second movie for Lifetime and TF-1, the highly rated My Neighbor’s Secret. The Merry InLaws** an oddball Christmas comedy starring George Wendt and Shelley Long won its nightly ratings, and her recently directed Christmas on the Bayou starring Ed Asner, Hilarie Burton, Tyler Hilton and Randy Travis garnered the highest ratings for a Lifetime holiday movie since 2011.
What I See When I Close My Eyes†, her documentary which follows the street kids of Cambodia, won several awards and was the official selection of over 30 film festivals. Eyes was invited to screen as part of the 10th anniversary of “V-Day” (an event which celebrates women and children, and which sponsors an end to violence against both), alongside event supporters like Oprah Winfrey, Eve Ensler, Ellen DeGeneres and Salma Hayek. Eyes also screened at The American Visionary Arts Museum as part of their year-long exhibition “The Art of Storytelling”.
Leslie was honoured to have the Kent Film Festival name “The Hope Award for Outstanding Work in Documentary Filmmaking” after her and her work. Eyes has since sold to Moviola, The Short Film Channel.
Leslie's episodic work includes episodes of Aftermath for SyFy and Halfire Entertainment and several episodes of the CBC's period procedural The Murdoch Mysteries. With Jon Eskenas, she served as Executive Producer on The Bling Ring for Dick Clark Productions. Leslie wrote and directed the hilarious, award-winning short GAYKEITH††, and created its accompanying web campaign. GAYKEITH became a viral internet hit and was picked up for distribution by Tricon Films.
Leslie also directed and executive produced the short film Buried Treasure § which won the Rome International Film Festival as Best Narrative Short. She is attached to the comedy/thriller mash up Ding Dong Ditch by Erin Donovan and the psychological thriller, Snow Man, based on best-selling author Carolyn Chute’s acclaimed novel. Leslie will direct the pilot for X-treme Medicine, a docu-reality series she co-created.
For the theater, Leslie directed and co-created with Roberto Campanella F-Lying: A Fellini Cabaret for SoulPepper and ProArteDanza as part of The Global Cabaret Festival. Previous directing work includes development of new works for the stage, and a re-examination of the classics, for The Wilton Project, a theatre company she founded and ran for 10 years as Artistic Director with Charlie Stratton.
* A VERY MERRY DAUGHTER OF THE BRIDE
2009 Alberta Film & Television Award – BEST DRAMA MADE-FOR-TV or MINI-SERIES, Nominee
** THE MERRY IN LAWS
2013 Alberta Film & Television Award - BEST DRAMA MADE-FOR-TV or MINI-SERIES, Nominee
† WHAT I SEE WHEN I CLOSE MY EYES
2009 Los Angeles HD Fest Award WINNER – BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
2008 Kent Film Festival - WINNER – BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
2008 Humboldt Film Festival WINNER– BEST DOCUMENTARY
2009 Baltimore Women’s Film Festival - BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY, Nominee
2008 Digital Video and Hi-Def Festival Award - BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY, Nominee
2008 Danville International Children’s Festival - BEST DOCUMENTARY, Nominee
2008 International Film Festival, South Africa - BEST DOCUMENTARY, Nominee
2008 KidsFirst! Touring Festival Nomination – BEST AWARD
2008 Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival – BEST DOCUMENTARY, Honorable Mention
2008 The Accolade Competition – BEST DOCUMENTARY, Honorable Mention
2008 Film Council of Greater Columbus – CHRIS AWARD, Honorable Mention
2011 Mexico International Film Festival - WINNER, Golden Palm Award
2011 HD Fest - WINNER, Best Comedic HD Short
2011 Maverick Movie Awards - Nominee, BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY:Leslie Hope
2011 The Female Eye Film Festival - Nominee, Best Short Film, Best Animation
2011 Canada Int'l Film Fest - Rising Star Award, Short Film
§ BURIED TREASURE
2014 Illinois International Film Festival-WINNER - BEST OF FEST
2013 Rome International Film Festival - WiINNER, BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
2013 Zero Film Festival - WINNER, AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD
2013 Madrid International Film Festival - JURY AWARD, Nominee
2013 The Indie Fest - AWARD OF MERIT
2013 Best Shorts - AWARD OF MERIT