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Leslye Davis

Director / Cinematographer
New York, New York US


Leslye Davis is a New York-based filmmaker and photographer working in documentary, narrative, and experimental multimedia formats to bring nuanced understanding to divisive social issues. Davis started her career in 2012 as a visual journalist at The New York Times, where she worked for nine years before leaving to focus on filmmaking in 2021. She has reported on domestic issues like the American opioid crisis, the rise of mass shootings, and structural inequality. Her first feature film, Father Soldier Son (Tribeca 2020), was directed and produced alongside Catrin Einhorn for The New York Times and Netflix. The documentary follows one military family over ten years, becoming an intergenerational exploration of values and American manhood in the aftermath of war. The Wall Street Journal called it “novelistic in its sweep and complexity,” and it was praised by The Times as "Instantly one of the great war documentaries." Father Soldier Son film was selected for 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the jury prize for best editing. The film went on to win a national Emmy for Best Documentary Editing, and was selected for AFI DOCS, and HotDocs in the same year. Davis was named among the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 for Media. In 2016, she was on the team of New York Times journalists who were awarded the Overseas Press Club’s David Kaplan Award for their coverage of the ISIS-led terrorist attacks in Paris. Her work has been recognized by World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year International, and she was part of a team of Times journalists who were finalists for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting.