Born in Hong Kong, Hope Dickson Leach was educated at boarding school in England. She studied philosophy at Edinburgh University and completed her MFA (with Honors) at Columbia University’s Film Program. During this time she was awarded a coveted Departmental Research Fellowship; she also taught screenwriting to undergraduates, and spent 9 months as Todd Solondz’s assistant for his film, Palindromes.
Her first short film, Cavites, screened at festivals worldwide including the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Nashville Film Festival and as part of an IFP Buzz Cuts. Her next short film Ladies In Waiting, shot in London, toured Germany as part of Britspotting ’06, and received a Special Mention for Innovation from the Cannery Works Festival for Emerging Filmmakers. Shot on 35mm, The Dawn Chorus was her thesis film, completed in May 2006. It has played at the London, Edinburgh and Sundance Film Festivals, and won Best Short Student Film at the Austin Film Festival and Best Short Film at the 3 Rivers Film Festival.
She was named as one of the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ in Screen International as well as one of the ’25 New Faces of Independent Cinema’ by Filmmaker Magazine in the summer of 2007. Hope attended the Berlinale Talent Campus in February 2008, where her feature script English Rose was featured in the Talent Project Market. In summer 2008, she participated as one of the six directors for the inaugural Edinburgh International Film Festival Director’s Lab.
In 2008 Hope ventured into documentary, directing a series of Three Minute Wonders for Channel 4, produced by Quark Films, which were broadcast in January 2009. She also directed a half hour drama for Channel 4 as part of the ‘Coming Up’ scheme, produced by Touchpaper TV for IWC. In 2009 she wrote and directed the award-winning short film, Morning Echo, starring Kerry Fox, funded by Film London and the UK Film Council under the Pulse Plus scheme.
Following the birth of her first son she made a piece of live, filmed theatre for the National Theatre of Scotland’s Five Minute Theatre celebration. She is currently developing her debut feature English Rose, supported by the BFI and Film4: a comedy about a teenage girl who hates Princess Diana. She’s also working on a sci-fi about a pregnant woman, a political thriller about a one-legged female dictator and a comedy about a team of grown women competing in a gymnastics competition. She lives in Glasgow with her husband and two sons.