Matti Leshem is the founder of New Mandate Films, a film and television production company created to mine the rich depth of Jewish history, literature, and stories from the Bible to the present day. Together with BRON Studios, Leshem is currently in post-production on the company’s first feature film, Harry Haft, directed by Academy Award winner, Barry Levinson, and starring Ben Foster. Based on true events, Harry Haft chronicles the story of a young man who survives Auschwitz by being forced to box his fellow prisoners to the death by the SS. New Mandate Films is also producing Keeper of the Diary for Fox Searchlight, which tells the story of Otto Frank’s discovery and publication of his daughter Anne’s diary, with Emmy Award winner Reed Morano attached to direct.
Leshem is also the co-founder of Weimaraner Republic Pictures (WRPCO), which he and his wife, Lynn Harris, founded in 2014. In 2016, Weimaraner Republic Pictures produced the global hit The Shallows for Sony Pictures, which grossed over $128 million worldwide. WRP is currently in pre-production on the remake of the classic thriller Jagged Edge for Sony Pictures, with Halle Berry attached to star, along with Of the Free for Participant Media, with Slick Naim attached to direct.
In TV, WRPCO has sold shows to several different networks and streamers, most recently being Clash of the Titans, based on the hit film series of the same title, to Apple, which they are developing with Berlanti Productions. Leshem is currently developing Camelot with NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which tells the untold true story of the sibling rivalry between Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her sister Lee Radziwill. Leshem is also producing a series,Saints, based on his original concept for Sonar Entertainment with Martin Scorsese directing and executive producing.
Prior to founding these two entertainment companies, Leshem founded Protagonist, a brand strategy company that created multiplatform brand-defining experiences for high-profile companies including Pepsi, Weight Watchers, Newscorp, and Living Proof, among others. Additionally, Leshem created Diplomatic, a multi-faceted production company where he served as an executive producer on ESPN’s 2-Minute Drill, USA Network’s Smush, and the A&E documentary series Ultimate Reality. Leshem also launched and ran Barry Diller’s WAMI-TV (USA Broadcasting), where he oversaw the creation of more than 40 hours of original programming each week.
Leshem graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a BA and holds an MFA in Film Directing from the American Film Institute (AFI). He serves on the board of American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic (AFIPO).