About Leslie

Leslie Cunningham is an artist, filmmaker, multimedia producer, collaborator and founder of TRIBES Entertainment, a digital media company headquartered in Durham, NC.  Leslie is also the creator of TRIBES Magazine, a popular online publication known for telling stories from the frontline of urban music, arts and culture.

A master storyteller with a journalistic background, Leslie is a graduate of the Center or Documentary Studies at Duke University. Feeding her hunger for producing daring and entertaining narratives that represent diverse subjects and communities, Leslie’s collection of engaging film and videos have screened on public TV and at film festivals in the U.S. and internationally.  Her debut feature documentary film, M.I., A Different Kind of Girl (2012), was recently chosen for Massimadi, the LGBT Film Festival of Africa and its Diasporas. M.I. screened at Gender Reel Film Festival (2014), The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (2012), Atlanta’s Out On Film (2012) and paved the way for more projects that would educate, entertain and feature provocative subjects and subject matter.

Leslie consistently pushes her artistic boundaries. Seven-years in the making, her current film work coming in late 2017 is called JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana. The feature film tells the story of one of America’s most successful traveling shows that endured racism, segregation and immigration laws to become popular in the 1930s through the 1960s. Also unearthed is the legend of her grandfather, African-American showman Leon Claxton, a little-known Civil Rights hero whose vision, passion and determination produced a multi-cultural stage show that still resonates with wonder today.   JIG SHOW was selected for the 2016 Sundance Institute New Frontier Program, the 2015 Cucalorus Filmmaker WIP Residency Program and received funding from ITVS’ Diversity Development Fund in 2014. The film is part of a larger documentary project called The Harlem in Havana Project, a preservation of the life of her grandfather’s work. Leslie is also currently working on a screenplay adapted from the documentary.

Leslie is committed to collaborating with other artists, writers and filmmakers and entrepreneurs. Contact: lesliecunninghampro@gmail.com.

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