Leyla Mandel (b. 2003) is a young American film maker. She began her career as a short novel writer with "The Chosen Road" which was published when she was in 5th grade. The following year she adapted the story to a film and began filming in 7th grade. The film was completed in September 2016 and premiered at the Studio Cinema in Belmont, MA.
In the last few years Leyla has focused more on making films about the environment and sustainability. In 2020 Leyla co-founded Sunrise Watertown and has made films for her group since. Leyla's art centers on climate change related themes and climate activism. A lot of what she’s learned from this activism has allowed her idea of the natural world to evolve. The natural world is a place of beauty and for enjoyment, but it’s also a contested space, contaminated by vicious political discourse.
She is currently a combined degree student at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts where she studies film and political science.