Leslie Hope was 16 when she starred in Ups and Downs her first feature with the great Canadian filmmaker, Paul Almond. Bit by the bug, she left high-school and landed in Los Angeles to star in John Cassavetes’ Love Streams, in a role he had written for her. At 19 she wrote and directed her first short film The Luncheon and later Siren Moon, a shout-out to the early black and white silent films she loved.
Leslie directed her first television movie, the charming A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride, followed quickly by the highly- rated My Neighbor’s Secret for TF-1. The Merry In-Laws, an oddball Christmas comedy starring George Wendt and Shelley Long won its nightly ratings and Christmas on the Bayou starring Ed Asner, Hilarie Burton, Tyler Hilton and Randy Travis garnered the highest ratings for Lifetime holiday movie since 2011 and was an official selection of the Southern Screen Film Festival in Louisiana.
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. What I See When I Close My Eyes was invited to screen as part of the 10th anniversary of "V-Day" (an event which celebrates women and children, and which supports an end to violence against both), alongside even supporters like Oprah Winfrey, Eve Ensler, Ellen DeGeneres and Salma Hayek. Eyes also screened at the Amerian Visionalry Arts Museum as part of their year-long exhibition "The Art of Story Telling".
Hope was honoured to have the Kent Film Festival name “The Hope Award for Outstanding Work in Documentary Filmmaking” after her and her work. Eyes sold to Moviola, The Short Film Channel.
Leslie's episodic work includes Lost in Space, The Order and Ghost Wars for Netflix, Snow Piercer for TNT. Additional work includes ABC’s Emergence and Law&Order: SVU for NBC. She has directed several episodes of the period procedural The Murdoch Mysteries, Aftermath for Halfire Entertainment/SyFy, Frankie Drake for the CBC, and Van Helsing for Nomadic Pictures. 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 produced the feature film Lie Exposed, directed by Jerry Ciccoritti, based on Jeff Kober’s play Pornography. Lie Exposed was recently sold to Mongrel Media for theatrical distribution and Crave for Canadian broadcast, as well as Indican Pictures for US theatrical and international distribution. 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 direct the J-Horror feature, Blood Wish, the comedy thriller mash up Ding Dong Ditch 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 ProArte Danza 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.