Director: The Hand Behind the Mouse, The Pixar Story - ILM: Creating the Impossible
Leslie Iwerks is an Academy Award® and Emmy® nominated director and producer. For over a decade, she has produced, directed, and edited award-winning feature and short documentaries, television specials, tributes, corporate films, and digital content. Her clients have included Disney, Pixar, Hearst, Starz, Bravo, GE, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, among others.
Her body of work encompasses enterprise feature films (The Pixar Story, Citizen Hearst, ILM: Creating the Impossible, The Imagineering Story, The Hand Behind the Mouse) to her acclaimed environmental and social issue documentaries (Recycled Life, Pipe Dreams, and Downstream).
Leslie is an adventure and travel enthusiast, and has filmed on all seven continents around the world.
Her desire to innovate and push boundaries in documentaries, film, animation and new technologies has been cultivated and inspired by her family upbringing. Her grandfather, Ub Iwerks, was the original designer and co-creator of Mickey Mouse and multi Academy Award-winning visual effects pioneer. Her father, Don Iwerks, also an Academy Award® winner for Technical Lifetime Achievement, was founder of the large format film company, Iwerks Entertainment, building systems in over 200 theaters around the world.
As a young girl, Leslie would accompany her dad to the Disneyland parks, getting a rare behind-the-scenes look at everything from attraction design and animatronics, to the filming of Michael Jackson and Francis Ford Coppola’s Captain EO. On weekends, Leslie would tag along with her dad to the Studio Machine Shop and escape into the imaginative back lot movie sets, a period of time that solidified her passion for the behind-the-scenes aspects of moviemaking.