Lilian Mehrel is an award-winning young writer/director who distills the humor and poetics of life into stories.

She was born to a Kurdish-Iranian mother and German-Jewish father, sparking her life-long experience of multiple worlds: from melting-pot Miami public school to college at Dartmouth, from the sciences to storytelling. As a Dartmouth Senior Fellow, she wrote and illustrated a 226-page family memoir, published for Rauner Special Collections. Lilian’s stories reveal the underlying, unexpected connections she sees between people. Her cinematic eye for universalities was 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.

With a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, she is an MFA candidate at NYU Graduate Film, where has written, directed, and produced multiple projects, including a James Franco behind-the-scenes series. Her films have won her awards from ABC/Disney, Alfred P. Sloan, the Nancy Malone Directing Award, a New York Women in Film and TV membership, Tisch and Kanbar scholarships, and student award nominations for Kodak, National Board Review, and BAFTA.

Lilian’s stories illuminate the surprise moments of human connection and emotion – and surprise her audience with laughter and tears. Maira Kalman called her work “epic and cinematic… full of heart and curiosity.” Lilian promptly fainted.