McLeish hails from an extensive acquisitions and distribution background, including positions at Walt Disney Pictures (previously Buena Vista International) and Madman Entertainment, where she spearheaded the company’s theatrical division and acquisitions, managing release campaigns including Warp Films’ This is England.
In 2008 McLeish licensed the Warp brand, launching development and production company Warp Films Australia (WFA). In 2010, with her WFA business partner Sarah Shaw, McLeish produced Justin Kurzel’s Cannes award-winning Snowtown. Snowtown released in several countries and garnered critical acclaim worldwide, winning several 2012 AACTA Awards. McLeish’s second WFA production, again with Shaw, was Kiwi duo Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland’s Shopping. Shopping premiered in World Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2013, and in Europe at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, where it was awarded the Grand Prix in its section. Shopping won several 2013 NZ Film Awards, including Best Film. McLeish executive produced Justin Kurzel’s Boner McPharlin’s Moll and Ian Meadow’s Defender, both part of The Turning omnibus, and produced (with Shaw) WFA’s third feature film, Partisan, directed by Ariel Kleiman and starring Vincent Cassel. Partisan premiered in World Dramatic Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it picked up a Special Jury Award for Best Cinematography.
In 2015 McLeish and Shaw relaunched WFA as Carver Films. Carver’s upcoming slate includes Jed Kurzel’s feature debut Ivan Lendl Never Learnt to Volley, the feature adaptation of Nick Cave’s The Death of Bunny Munro, as well as features in development with Natalie James and Hannah Kent. McLeish is also developing a range of TV projects within Carver’s slate, including a kids animation series and a TV drama with writer/director Mirrah Foulkes.