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Leslie Iwerks

Leslie Iwerks

11 Movies · 1 TV Series

Biography

Iwerks graduated with a BA from the University of Southern California and currently resides on the USC School of Cinematic Arts Alumni Council.In 1999, Walt Disney Pictures released her first feature-length documentary, The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story, chronicling the life of her grandfather, Ub Iwerks. The film was narrated by Kelsey Grammer.In 2000, Iwerks began working on numerous ethnographic documentaries in Guatemala which culminated in the film Recycled Life (2006), which was nominated for the Academy Award Best Documentary (Short Subject) category. The film documented the lives of Guatemalans who live and work in the largest landfill in Central America. The film was narrated by Edward James Olmos. Recycled Life went on to raise an estimated $3 million for Safe Passage, a non-profit organization building schools for children who work in the dump.The Pixar Story (2007), about the rise of Pixar Animation Studios was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Nonfiction Special category and was additionally nominated for the A.C.E. Eddie Awards for Best Edited Documentary. The feature-length documentary was narrated by Stacy Keach and includes interviews with John Lasseter, Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, George Lucas, Tom Hanks, and other producers, directors, and artists. Variety wrote, "The movie is, above all else, a celebration of animation in all its forms. Iwerks naturally has a firm grasp of the medium’s history and rightly sees Pixar as the catalyst for the recent resurgence of audience interest in animation."In 2008, Iwerks' short documentary Downstream, brought awareness to the environmental effects of oil sands production in Alberta, Canada, as well as rare cancers being found downstream in the aboriginal community of Fort Chipewyan. Because the film scrutinized the local government's pro-oil policies and was partially subsidized by the Alberta Film Fund, it prompted Alberta's Minister of Culture, Lindsay Blackett, to criticize the film, which in turn, sparked public outcry as to whether films subsidized by the government would be allowed freedom of artistic expression. The film was short-listed for the Academy Awards Best Documentary (Short Subject) category in 2008.Iwerks released Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible (2010), which chronicles the developments of visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic from the earliest days of Star Wars to Star Trek: Beyond. The documentary is narrated by Tom Cruise and features interviews with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Robin Williams, J.J. Abrams, Jerry Bruckheimer, Samuel L. Jackson, Seth Green, Jon Favreau, and various ILM visual effects supervisors.In 2011, the Biografilm Festival in Bologna, Italy, paid tribute to Iwerks through a multi-day retrospective of her documentary films.Iwerks' short environmental documentary Pipe Dreams (2011), about the controversy behind the Keystone XL pipeline, was narrated by Daryl Hannah and won the Ashland Independent Film Festival award for Best Documentary Short. The film was also short-listed for the Academy Awards Best Documentary (Short Subject) category in 2012.Iwerks' 2012 documentary, Citizen Hearst, charting the 125-year history of the Hearst media empire, premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival. The film is narrated by William H. Macy, and features interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Dan Rather, Mark Burnett, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Bob Iger, Leonard Maltin, Dr. Oz, Heidi Klum and various members of the Hearst family and company.In 2013, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival showcased a retrospective of her documentary work, and honored her with the festival's Spotlight Award.In 2016, she was honored by The Bay Foundation for her environmental impact through filmmaking. Additionally, she was commended by California Assemblymen Richard Bloom and Mike Giatto for her profound commitment to environmental stewardship through penetrating, exemplary documentary filmmaking addressing critical national and global issues.Iwerks' 2016 documentary, Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table, about famed New Orleans restaurateur Ella Brennan premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival and won the Audience Award. The film is narrated by Academy Award-nominated actress Patricia Clarkson, and features interviews with Emeril Lagasse, Danny Meyer, Daniel Boulud, Drew Nieporent, Jeremiah Tower, and others. The film began streaming on Netflix in May 2017.In 2017, Iwerks embarked on a journey to Macedonia where she uncovered the inside world of fake news created by Macedonian teenagers. The short film follows how the proliferation of fake news impacted the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election and worldwide elections thereafter. Selling Lies was directed, edited, and produced by Iwerks. Morgan Freeman’s production company Revelations Entertainment co-produced the film. The film, completed in 2018, premiered and won the Best Short Documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film then went on to win Best Documentary Short at San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, Dumbo Film Festival, DOC LA, and Ridgefield Independent Film Festival.

Movies & TV Series

2019.

1 Movie · 1 TV Series

2016.

1 Movie

2013.

1 Movie

2011.

1 Movie

2010.

1 Movie

2009.

1 Movie

2008.

2 Movies

2007.

1 Movie

2006.

1 Movie

1999.

1 Movie
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