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Lesli Linka Glatter is a Director of film, network, and premium cable television drama, with both pilots and episodes to her credit. Lesli’s TV work includes Homeland, The Newsroom, The Walking Dead, Justified, Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex, True Blood, Mad Men, The Leftovers, The Good Wife, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, ER, Freaks and Geeks and Twin Peaks. Lesli has also directed numerous pilots including Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars and SIX. Her films include Now and Then, The Proposition, and HBO’s State of Emergency. Most recently, Lesli was the Executive Producer/Director of the award winning series Homeland, and her next project is The Banker’s Wife, an 8-part mini-series for Amazon. Lesli began her directing career through the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women, in which her film Tales of Meeting and Parting was nominated for an Oscar. Lesli has received 7 Emmy nominations, 7 Directors Guild Award nominations, winning twice for Mad Men and Homeland, as well as a Humanitus Award nomination for HBO’s State of Emergency.


  • How COVID-19 changed her filming plans and how the pandemic as well as the ongoing demonstrations will change the film and television industry (4:27)
  • What Lesli’s creative and organizational process is to prepare for filming, including the preparation and research process for her new Amazon Prime show, The Banker’s Wife (6:23)
  • What Lesli’s process was to prepare for Season 8 of Homeland and the importance of strong characters (11:07)
  • What a typical day of filming Season 8 of Homeland was like (13:35)
  • What you will learn about in Lesli’s Masterclass on Sundance Collaborative (14:54)
  • What isn’t in directing books and why it is important to go back to the story and characters before planning a shot list (16:55)
  • What it means to “guest direct” and her job as an executive producer and director when a guest director comes to set (21:40)
  • What it’s really like to work on a set, including long hours and a not-so-glamorous life (24:25)
  • How streaming services have improved opportunities in this industry (26:37)
  • Some of Lesli’s show recommendations! These include a Swedish show called The Restaurant, My Brilliant Friend, The Plot Against America, Fauda, Unorthodox and Mrs. America (28:54)
  • How Lesli got the opportunities to be mentored by Stephen Spielberg and David Lynch after being a part of the Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute (29:57)
  • What she learned from David Lynch and how to stay open for the “moose head” (34:07)
  • How the industry has changed for women since Lesli entered the industry and what the current state of the industry is for women directors (38:13)
  • What other programs exist to get into the field, including the Sundance Directors Lab and the Screenwriters Lab (41:12)
  • How dance and choreography has affected her directing style (45:07)
  • How Lesli learned from failure (47:17)


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