Leon Chase grew up in the industrial suburbs south of Detroit. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Chase is the author of the play The Last Carburetor, which enjoyed two Off-Off-Broadway runs in New York City, and was subsequently published in Plays and Playwrights 2003. He is a sometimes-contributor to the fringe-cinema web ‘zine Cashiers du Cinemart, which featured him in its anthology Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection. He has also appeared as a guest commentator on the film-nerd podcast The Projection Booth.
For nearly a decade, Leon fronted the garage-country band Uncle Leon and the Alibis. He shot and directed the music video for the song “Wild Ways”, and orchestrated the guerrilla video project “Beer Train”, performed live on the New York City subway, for the 2013 Couch by Couchwest Festival, where it won Most Creative Location and was runner-up for People’s Choice.
In 2013, Leon created “The Pill Girls”, a short parody of ’70s sexploitation films. A year later, me made the zero-budget comedy short “Fair Trade”. His comedic Film Noir “Upper West Side Story” was completed in the fall of 2015 and screened as part of the 2016 New York Short Film Festival.
Leon’s latest project, “Character” is an ongoing series of features documenting eccentric people in New York City. The first installment, Fancy Feast: The Fat Burlesque Performer, starring burlesque performer Fancy Feast, debuted online in early 2017. It has since screened at Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan, at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco, and at the 2017 Coney Island Film Festival.
The second, Suzy Hotrod: Roller Derby Star, appeared at the 2019 Too Drunk to Watch film festival in Berlin, and at the 2019 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, where it received the Audience Choice Award. Watch it free here.
Most recently, he created the zero-budget, cellphone horror movie Distant for Roger Corman’s Quarantine Film Festival.