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James Leon is a multidimensional producer and writer. Here are the three latest productions coming from Leon and 8th Gear Entertainment.

The truth behind James Leon and 8th Gear Entertainment productions

James Leon is a multidimensional producer and writer who founded and runs Miami-based production company 8th Gear Entertainment – an emerging media company dedicated to delivering cutting edge mainstream content to a global audience.

Through movies, music and television, James has established himself as a leading producer whose creative vision and drive has contributed to a diverse slate of elevated and sophisticated projects told with a distinctive voice.

8th Gear Entertainment, the film production company founded by James Leon, has acquired the rights to Ecuadorian soccer superstar Enner Valencia’s life story and will produce a feature bio-pic that tells the amazing story of his inspiring rise from poverty to world cup fame and icon status. 

James Leon, who is from Ecuador and runs Miami based production outfit 8th Gear Entertainment, will produce the film with Ted Field and his Radar Pictures (“Jumanji” and “Chronicles of Riddick” franchises, “The Last Samurai”). Enner Valencia is executive producing.


As the current captain and forward for Ecuador’s national soccer team, Valencia is recognized as an all-time leading scorer with 37 international goals since joining in 2012. He has recently made headlines at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar for not only being Ecuador’s top scorer, but the first player to score six consecutive goals for any South American country. The 33-year-old striker currently also plays as forward for Turkey’s Super League club, Fenerbahce, where he has 27 goals in 27 games. 

Coming from humble beginnings, Valencia’s consistent determination and passion were integral to his success and overcoming adversity from a young age. Born in the city of San Lorenzo, Ecuador to a poverty stricken family, Valencia would help his farmer father earn a living selling milk, forced to develop his soccer skills on a dirt court with canvas shoes while battling racial discrimination for his Afro-Educadorian heritage. 

With a unique story characterized by dedication and perseverance, the feature biopic will touch on multiple facets of Valencia’s journey including his childhood, rejection by three soccer teams, strong work ethic, his marriage, and role as a father to four children – all experiences which shaped Enner Valencia into the top scorer in Ecuador’s National team history.

Lonesome George Project

James Leon’s 8th Gear Entertainment and Ted Field’s Radar Pictures are teaming to bring famed giant tortoise Lonesome George and his remarkable true story to life via the big screen in a new 3D CGI animated adventure movie. 

The real Lonesome George was known as the rarest creature on Earth. His life and story continue to inspire and serve as an international symbol for conservation efforts in the Galápagos Islands and throughout the world. 

George is preserved at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Ecuador, where he is visited by over a hundred thousand fans every year. As a tribute to George and his legacy, his image is lovingly enshrined as the logo of the Galápagos Conservancy and The Charles Darwin Foundation. 

From a story by Leon in collaboration with Byrkit, the movie will follow Lonesome George, the giant tortoise of the Galápagos, who is the last of his kind, as he sets out on an epic adventure to find others like him and discovers the true meaning of family.

The movie aims to bring to light environmental issues that affect our planet, conservation and the ongoing evolution of ecosystems and its impact on the future of the environment and the world. A percentage of the revenue generated by the film will be donated to the Leaders for Change Foundation, which brings awareness to the necessary protection of the world’s greatest ecological wonder, the Galápagos Islands. 


The surging popularity of one of the world’s fastest growing sports circuits has led to a first-of-its-kind partnership between FIA ABB Formula E (electric racing’s official championship circuit), James Leon’s 8th Gear Entertainment and Ted Field’s Radar Pictures to bring the fast paced sport to the big screen via a female-centered racing / action / thriller titled “Breakneck.”

 Breakneck chronicles the multi-layered story of a young female maverick racer, who despite growing up as a poor orphan, climbs the Formula E ranks only to have her first ePrix race end terribly and in her removal from the sport. To make ends meet, she follows in her father’s footsteps and becomes a part-time gateway driver for a gang in Miami, still reminiscing of her days as a Formula E driver. 

Having almost given up on her dreams, a British billionaire offers her an opportunity to rejoin Formula E, but it comes with a catch – she must raise millions of dollars herself to secure a seat. With a risk-taking, resourceful attitude, along with a heist team made up of her five brothers, she conspires to steal a priceless car from the billionaire himself in order to ultimately fulfill her racing dreams.


With an impressive portfolio of diversified projects, how do you manage to maintain a coherent vision at 8th Gear Entertainment, while still challenging the conventional norms of storytelling?

At 8th Gear Entertainment, maintaining a coherent vision while challenging conventional norms of storytelling is a core aspect of our creative approach. Our success lies in the delicate balance between consistency and innovation.

For starters, I stick to my gut as much as possible, letting my passions drive ideas and exploration. I still never undermine the conventional way of storytelling as this industry has an immersible amount of power and privilege to lead change. 

We embrace a culture of continuous learning while fostering a collaborative environment. This helps us expand our creative toolkit and remain at the forefront of storytelling innovation.

Your production company has quickly gained recognition in the industry. To what extent would you say your cultural background and upbringing have influenced your work and vision?

I am the grandson of one of the greatest presidents that Ecuador has ever had. He is a major influence for me in achieving my goals. Half of my life I have spent in Ecuador, my other half in the USA. I am a young and experienced visionary who  understands that Latin culture has influenced the world.

Can you elaborate on your decision to start 8th Gear Entertainment in Miami? What unique opportunities does this location provide for your company?

Miami is the mecca of the Latin industry so that’s why I wanted it to be the hub for my production company. It’s an ideal location that allows me to combine my roots with a vibrant and versatile culture.  The beautiful weather doesn’t hurt either.

The Breakneck project seems to be a daring venture that combines elements of sports, action, and thriller genres. What led you to conceptualize a story centered around the FIA ABB Formula E, especially from a female perspective?

I have loved racing all my life. There was a time when I wanted to be a driver. And having a woman driver is an unorthodox take on a field where men shine.

What has been your approach to incorporate your Ecuadorian roots and global perspectives into the narratives of your films, particularly in the forthcoming biopic of Enner Valencia?

We are a small country with amazing stories. I want to put a spotlight on Ecuador. And Enner is like a superhero, people go nuts everywhere he steps into. He deserves for the world to know his story.

What do you hope audiences will take away from Enner, given Valencia’s inspiring journey from poverty to becoming a national icon?

Enner is a powerful story of resilience and determination that I hope will inspire audiences to believe in their own potential, no matter their background. Valencia’s journey showcases the transformative power of perseverance and serves as a reminder that anyone can overcome adversity to achieve greatness.

With the animated movie about Lonesome George, how do you intend to balance the entertainment aspects with the serious environmental message that the project intends to convey?

Balancing entertainment with a serious environmental message in the animated movie about Lonesome George is crucial. We aim to captivate and engage audiences with an entertaining narrative while weaving in the important environmental message. Through compelling storytelling and impactful visuals, we strive to raise awareness about conservation and inspire viewers to take action.

As a prominent figure in the entertainment industry, why do you think it’s important to highlight environmental issues through movies and how does this reflect in your work with the Leaders for Change Summit?

It is essential to highlight environmental issues through movies because the power of storytelling can evoke empathy, awareness, and action. By incorporating environmental themes in my work, including the Leaders for Change Summit, I hope to leverage the reach and influence of the entertainment industry to inspire positive change and promote sustainable practices.

How do you intend to use the success of “Breakneck” and other projects to further your environmental and conservation goals?

The success of Breakneck and other projects allows us to leverage our platform to further our environmental and conservation goals. We can use the attention and resources generated by successful projects to raise awareness, support relevant initiatives, and collaborate with like-minded organizations to make a lasting impact on environmental issues.

You have successfully ventured into different spheres – movies, music, and now environmental activism. How do you manage to balance all these different pursuits?

Balancing different pursuits requires careful time management, prioritization, and a dedicated team. I surround myself with talented individuals who share my vision and can handle various aspects of each project. Delegating responsibilities and maintaining clear communication are key to managing multiple endeavors effectively.

In what ways has your experience in the music industry influenced your approach to film production?

My experience in the music industry has influenced my approach to film production by instilling a deep appreciation for storytelling, rhythm, and emotional connection. Music has the power to enhance cinematic experiences and evoke powerful emotions. I often look for ways to integrate music into my film projects to create a more immersive and impactful viewer experience.

With your success on Billboard’s Latin music chart, are there any plans to incorporate your music background into your film projects?

While I primarily focus on film projects, my music background provides a unique perspective and a deep understanding of the creative process. Incorporating music into film projects can enhance storytelling and create a more holistic experience for the audience. Therefore, I’m open to exploring opportunities where my music background can complement and enhance the narrative of a film.

You’ve collaborated with Ted Field on multiple projects. How did this partnership come to be and how has it benefited your overall vision at 8th Gear Entertainment?

My partnership with Ted Field at 8th Gear Entertainment came about through shared passions and a mutual drive to create impactful content. Ted’s experience and expertise in the industry have greatly benefited our overall vision, allowing us to develop and produce projects that align with our goals. Our partnership brings together complementary skills and resources, enabling us to bring compelling stories to life.

As the host of the inaugural Leaders for Change Summit, how successful do you think the event was and what are the future plans for the initiative?

The inaugural Leaders for Change Summit was a tremendous success, bringing together diverse voices, expertise, and perspectives on environmental issues. The impact of this diversity was invaluable, fostering rich discussions, encouraging collaboration, and promoting innovative solutions. As for the future, we plan to expand the initiative, continuing to gather influential leaders, inspire action, and create a global network for change.

How do you plan to sustain and increase the impact of your environmental awareness work, especially in relation to the Leaders for Change Summit?

To sustain and increase the impact of our environmental awareness work, we will focus on long-term partnerships, engaging with organizations that share our vision. We aim to amplify our reach through strategic collaborations, leverage digital platforms, and utilize storytelling to inspire individuals, communities, and governments to take proactive steps towards environmental conservation.

What inspired you to tell the story of Lonesome George, and why do you think now is the right time for this story to be told?

The story of Lonesome George is one that resonates deeply with me because it highlights the urgency of environmental conservation and the need to protect endangered species. Now is the right time to tell this story as the world is becoming increasingly aware of the ecological crisis we face. Through this film, we hope to raise awareness, inspire empathy, and drive positive change for our planet.

How do you select your projects and what makes a story stand out to you?

When selecting projects, I look for stories that are compelling, thought-provoking, and have the potential to make a meaningful impact. A story that stands out to me is one that has a powerful message, resonates with a wide audience, and provides an opportunity to create an emotional connection. I also consider the project’s alignment with my personal values and the potential to drive positive change.

The Leaders for Change Summit attracted a varied range of attendees. What has been the impact of this diversity on the Summit and its goals?

The Leaders for Change Summit has been greatly impacted by the influential leaders who attended, as they have the ability to inspire and influence their fans and followers towards positive action. By gathering a diverse range of leaders from various fields, our goal is to continually expand and enhance the Summit each year, attracting even more exceptional leaders who can contribute to the discourse on environmental change and inspire others to join the movement.

You’ve been noted for your ability to develop, package, and produce a wide array of films. What are the key ingredients, in your view, to producing successful and globally appealing content?

Key ingredients to producing successful and globally appealing content include compelling storytelling, relatable characters, high production value, and relevance to the target audience. Additionally, understanding the cultural nuances and preferences of different regions can help tailor content for maximum impact. Collaborating with talented individuals and staying attuned to market trends also contribute to producing content that resonates with a global audience.

Given your broad experience across industries, what advice would you give to someone looking to follow in your footsteps and create a diversified career in the arts?

 To create a diversified career in the arts, my advice would be to follow your passions, embrace learning opportunities, and be open to exploring different creative avenues. It’s important to develop a strong foundation in your chosen field while also being adaptable and open to new challenges. Networking, building relationships, and seeking mentorship can also provide valuable guidance and opportunities for growth.

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