Leslie is an artist, writer, documentary filmmaker and owner of TRIBES Entertainment, a boutique digital media company known for creating daring and entertaining narratives that represent a diversity of subjects and communities. A raconteur with a journalistic background, Leslie’s collection of engaging film and videos have screened on public television, online and at film festivals in the U.S. and internationally.
Leslie is currently working on her second feature documentary film, JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana, which honors her grandfather’s popular traveling revue that significantly impacted Black entertainment in the mid-20th century, during Jim Crow times.
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Leslie created TRIBES Magazine in 2004 as artists across the Triangle area of North Carolina were calling out for a voice. Leslie’s popular show TRIBES TV covered North Carolina arts and community events and aired on public television stations, including Durham Community Media and The People’s Channel in Chapel Hill, NC. A public broadcasting hit, TRIBES TV spread Leslie’s reputation as a local media institution to citizens around the Triangle.
A graduate of the documentary arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in Durham, NC, Leslie released her first feature film, M.I., A Different Kind of Girl, in 2012. M.I. was selected for The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Atlanta’s Out On Film, Gender Reel Film Festival in 2012, and ended its festival tour in 2016 at Massimadi, the LGBT Film Festival of Africa and its Diasporas. Leslie’s second documentary film, Finding Aumont Whitaker, premiered at Durham’s Hayti Heritage Film Festival in 2017.
Her current film project, JIG SHOW, was selected for sponsorship and funding from The Southern Documentary Fund, ITVS’ Diversity Development Fund, Cucalorus’ Work in Progress Program, The Sundance New Frontier Lab, and Filmed in NC. The film is part of a larger multimedia documentary project called The Harlem in Havana Project in which Leslie aims to revive Harlem in Havana’s rich entertainment history.
Leslie is a member of Film Fatales, a non-profit which advocates for parity in the entertainment industry and supports women directors; Brown Girls Doc Mafia, an initiative advocating for women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary film industry; and, Soka Gakkai International, Buddhism in Action for Peace. Leslie is committed to mentoring young filmmakers and artists.