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Laleh Soomekh

Laleh Soomekh

Documentary Film and Video

About

Laleh Soomekh has worked as a photographer for the past ten years. Before coming to Stanford, she spent five years teaching photography to severely emotionally disturbed youth at a residential treatment center.

Dear Judge

digital video

JUNE, 2001
VIDEO DURATION: 27:55 MIN.

This video explores how two teenage siblings and their 26 year old sister/legal guardian have coped with their mother's incarceration in a federal prison. When shooting began, Dorothy Gaines had served six years of a twenty-year sentence handed down for a minor drug offense. Unexpectedly, she received a presidential commutation of her sentence before filming was completed; Laleh was fortunate enough to shoot shortly after the family's reunification.


Blush

16mm color film

JUNE, 2000
VIDEO DURATION: 6:22 MIN.

A personal film about the filmmaker’s shyness and her upbringing with her twin sister.


XXXY

digital video

Co-directed with Laleh Soomekh
MARCH, 2000
VIDEO DURATION: 13 MIN.
"Is it a boy or is it a girl?" the most frequently asked question posed to new parents doesn't apply when a baby is born intersex or with ambiguous genitalia. XXXY is an intimate portrait of two individuals, Kristi and Howard, born "not wholly male and not wholly female." In candid interviews, Kristi and Howard openly talk about the emotional, psychological and physiological impact of being born intersex.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Gold Medal, Student Academy Award, 2001
Best Student Documentary Award, Palm Springs Shorts Festival
Jury Award Winner, New York Exposition of Short Film and Video
Honorable Mention, Making Waves Film Festival
Associazione Consultorio Transgenere, 2012
Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC), 2012
Over a dozen national and international festivals.
Broadcasted on Through The Lens (Philadelphia, PBS)

Breath

16mm black and white film

DECEMBER, 1999
VIDEO DURATION: 3 MIN.

Breath focuses on an eighty year old woman who is forced to confront her own aging when she leaves her home of forty years to live in a retirement hotel.