A former actor, David Leland began writing for the stage and TV in the 1970s. His British telefilm "Made in Britain" caught the attention of Neil Jordan who, in turn, hired Leland to work on the screenplay for Jordan's acclaimed "Mona Lisa" (1986). The following year, Leland wrote the script for Terry Jones' "Personal Services," based on the life of British madam Cynthia Payne. Payne's teenage years were the focus of Leland's feature directorial debut "Wish You Were Here" (also 1987), starring newcomer Emily Lloyd. For the latter, he received a British Academy Award for his script. Leland fared less well with his subsequent features the comedy "Checking Out" (1988) and "The Big Man/Crossing the Line" (1990). After an eight year absence, he returned to features as co-scripter and director of "The Land Girls" (1998), a smooth adaptation of a novel which told the story of English women who worked as farmers during WWII.
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Began pursuing an acting career (date approximate)
Breakthrough screenplay, "Mona Lisa"
Made film directing debut "Wish You Were Here"
Directed first US feature "Checking Out"
Directed London stage production, "A Tribute to The Blues Brothers"
Co-wrote and directed "The Land Girls"