Lilian Mehrel creates films, illustrated books, and virtual reality experiences.

She distills the humor and poetics of life into stories. Lilian’s work is visually evocative, rooted in theme and surprise moments of human connection. She was born to a Kurdish-Iranian mother and German-Jewish father, sparking her life-long experience of multiple worlds. From Miami public school, she went to Dartmouth College, where she was awarded a Senior Fellowship. She wrote and illustrated a 226-page family memoir, published for Rauner Special Collections.

With a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, she is an MFA candidate at NYU’s Tisch Graduate Film in Directing & Writing. Her films have won her awards from ABC/Disney, Alfred P. Sloan, the Science & Entertainment Exchange / Imagine Science Films, Tisch Interdepartmental grants, the Puffin Foundation, the Nancy Malone Directing Award, New York Women in Film and TV, NYU and Kanbar scholarships, and student award nominations for Kodak, the National Board Review, and BAFTA. Her latest virtual reality film premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, in the Interactive Playground.

Lilian’s stories reveal the underlying universalities she sees between people, shaped by her work connecting young people from conflicting countries – with Seeds of Peace, the U.S. State Department, a Kathryn Davis Peace Project, and YALA Peace – a creative leadership program for diverse girls she founded at the Arab Jewish Community Center of Yafo.

Her current focus is in virtual reality, digital shorts, and comedy television. She has written, directed, and produced multiple projects, including a James Franco behind-the-scenes series, for Vogue New Media, and a collaboration with Within’s virtual reality films and the Portals project at the United Nations.

Maira Kalman called her work “epic and cinematic… full of heart and curiosity.” Lilian promptly fainted.