Leon Chase grew up in the industrial suburbs south of Detroit. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
He is the creator of two feature-length indie documentaries: Fancy Feast: The Fat Burlesque Performer— which screened at Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan, the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco, and the 2017 Coney Island Film Festival—and Suzy Hotrod: Roller Derby Star, which appeared at Berlin’s Too Drunk to Watch festival, and at the 2019 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, where it won the Audience Choice Award.
Leon is currently working on his third documentary, about the legendary Brooklyn dive bar Hank’s Saloon. He also worked as an Editor on the upcoming Lola RocknRolla film The Big Johnson, and as Assistant Director on Cory McAbee’s Deep Astronomy and the Romantic Sciences.
Other directorial work includes the short sexploitation parody The Pill Girls, the comedic Film Noir Upper West Side Story (official selection at the 2016 New York Short Film Festival), and, most recently, Distant—a 2-minute horror short starring his wife, Ashlie Atkinson, which was created for Roger Corman’s Quarantine Film Festival, and went on to be featured in the 2020 Coney Island Film Festival.
Leon 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 and The Best Women’s Stage Monologues of 2002.
He was an occasional contributor to the underground cinema ‘zine Cashiers du Cinemart, which featured him in its anthology Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection. He has appeared as guest commentator on the film-nerd podcast The Projection Booth, as well as Australia’s See/Hear Music Film Podcast.
For nearly a decade, Leon also fronted the cowpunk band Uncle Leon and the Alibis. He directed the music video for their song “Wild Ways” and orchestrated the guerrilla video project “Beer Train”—performed live on a New York City subway car—for the 2013 Couch by Couchwest Festival, where it won Most Creative Location and was runner-up for People’s Choice.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Leon has begun doing pro bono editing work for various political organizations, including the historic Highlander Center for Education and Culture. He also continues to edit shorts and trailers for other filmmakers—most recently Michael Phoenix’s “Fleeting Nirvana” and Seayoon Jeong’s “Breaking the Silence”.