Starting out as an art dealer in the early 70’s, Leader moved into the film world when he produced HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS in 1975/76. Directed by Jim Szalapski, the feature documentary on Nashville’s country music “outlaws” was warmly received at the 1979 Sundance Film Festival. The film survived underground as a beloved totem until, 30 years later, the re-mastered DVD and CD were released to widespread critical acclaim. A deluxe soundtrack box-set produced by Light In The Attic, was released successfully in the spring of 2016.
1990: SHUTTLECOCK, starring Alan Bates and Lambert Wilson. The script was adapted by Tim Rose Price from the novel by award-winning author Graham Swift, and the film was directed by Andrew Piddington. It opened the 1991 San Sebastian Film Festival but, due to financial complications, the film was not properly completed or released at that time.
1991: Optioned the short story "Killings" by Andre Dubus and worked with Rob Festinger on the feature adaptation. Retitled IN THE BEDROOM, the film was directed by Todd Field and starred Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Marisa Tomei, and Nick Stahl. It was acquired by Miramax at Sundance in 2001, where it won The Special Jury Prize. Sissy Spacek won a Golden Globe and the film was nominated for five major Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
2005: THE SAFFRON LIMITED, a six-minute digital short that captures the dazzling, ephemeral spirit of artist Christo's installation, "The Gates," in New York's Central Park.
2008: CHILDLESS, a semi-experimental contemporary drama built around serial monologues. Starring Barbara Hershey, Joe Mantegna, James Naughton, and Diane Venora. It was successfully released by Monterey Media in 2015.
2012-14: HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS REVISITED, which was inspired by HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS and embodies its spirit. As with the '76 film, HHR explores contemporary Americana through a loose-knit group of Nashville-based musicians whose music bears the influence of the legendary originals. Both HH & HHR will be released towards the end of 2016.
2014: SINS OF A FATHER, a conceptually unique, three-generational narrative that spans four decades (1940's - 1980's) and explores the complex nature of heroism, betrayal, and father-son relationships. The film seamlessly interweaves new footage shot in January 2014 in London with the 1990 film, SHUTTLECOCK, and was produced and directed by the same team. Lambert Wilson returns with other actors from the original film to complete a drama that originated 25 years before.
Founded by Leader in 2014, SEALIONFILMS is currently developing a varied slate of literary, character-driven scripts aimed at the international market.