Leslie Simmer is Kartemquin’s director of editing and senior editor on staff.
Leslie has worked at Kartemquin Films for over 20 years in various capacities. She is currently editing on Steve James’ multi-part series “America to Me,” slated to appear on the Starz network in 2018. Her most recent project before that was “Raising Bertie,” which she edited and co-wrote, and which premiered at Full Frame in 2016, was broadcast on POV in 2017 and was named by Slate Magazine as one of the 15 best docs of 2017. Leslie edited and co-wrote the Emmy Award-winning film, “The Homestretch,” which premiered at Hot Docs 2014 and screened on PBS’s Independent Lens in 2015. She edited and co-wrote the Emmy-nominated feature documentary “As Goes Janesville,” a co-production between Kartemquin and 371 Productions which screened on Independent Lens in October 2012. Prior to that, she edited with Steve James on the ESPN film “No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson.” She edited the Emmy-nominated “In the Family” (for which she received the Best Editing prize at the “Best of the Midwest Awards”). In 2005 Leslie was co-editor with Steve James on the award-winning “The War Tapes” which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. From 2001-04 she wore dual hats on the seven-part PBS series “The New Americans” as both series story editor and post-production supervisor.
Prior to putting on her editing hat full-time, Leslie worked in various different production and post-production roles on a number of Kartemquin Films, including “Stevie,” “Refrigerator Mothers,” “5 Girls,” and “Vietnam: Long Time Coming.” Leslie got her BA in communication/theater arts (Phi Beta Kappa) from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She did graduate work in film at Columbia College Chicago, where she began her long and passionate relationship with the Avid. When not in the edit room, she enjoys travel, music, good food and liquor, snorkeling (and beaches in general) and helping animals.