David Leland initially trained as an actor at the Central Speech of School and Drama and appeared in multiple credits before moving into stage management at the Crucible theatre. A long screenwriting and directing career followed in both television and film that includes the cult classic ‘Made in Britain’ (1983) directed by Alan Clarke and starring Tim Roth, which won the Prix Italia, ‘Birth of a Nation’ (1983) directed by Mike Newell, and Neil Jordan’s ‘Mona Lisa’ starring Bob Hoskins (1986), which received Golden Globe, Writer’s Guild of America, and Oscar nominations.
David wrote two films about the suburban madam Cynthia Payne: the BAFTA-nominated ‘Personal Services’ (1987) directed by Terry Jones and starring Julie Walters, and ‘Wish You Were Here’ (1987), which marked David’s directorial debut and starred Emily Lloyd as a younger Cynthia. David won a BAFTA for this screenplay, and the film won the FIPRESCI prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
David’s later films as both writer and director include ‘The Big Man’ (1990) starring Liam Neeson, and ‘Land Girls’ (1998) starring Rachel Weisz.
In 1991, David returned to the stage to direct the successful stage musical ‘A Tribute to the Blues Brothers,’ which played in the West End of London and then toured for ten years across the UK and Australia. Since his early days, David has written extensively for television, including writing, and directing the Emmy award-winning ‘Band of Brothers (2001).’
David was a close friend of George Harrison, whom he worked with on several occasions, chiefly as director on ‘Checking Out’ (1988) starring Jeff Daniels (which Harrison produced through HandMade Films) and as a director for several Traveling Wilburys music videos including ‘Handle With Care.’ David also directed the music video to Tom Petty’s ‘I Won’t Back Down’ and Sir Paul McCartney’s ‘Brown Eyed Handsome Man.’
Following George Harrison’s untimely passing, David directed the cinematic documentary ‘Concert For George’ (2002), a memorial concert event that took place at the Royal Albert Hall. The film went on to win a Grammy award, and the DVD of which went platinum.
BBC radio interview: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programm...