Darine Hotait is a fiction writer and film director. She has written & directed a number of short films that screened at top international festivals and received multiple Best Fiction Film awards. Her films were acquired and broadcasted on Sundance TV, AMC Networks, BBC Channel, OSN & Shorts International.
She is the recipient of the Literary Fellowship at New York Foundation for the Arts and the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture Cinema Grant. She was nominated for a Goethe Award, selected among 10 screenwriters at the Cannes Film Festival International Scriptwriters’ Pavilion (Maison Des Scenaristes), and was a top 5 finalist at Hearst Screenwriting Competition and an EMMY Awards Blue Ribbon Finalist.
Her work has been featured in LA Times, INC Magazine, AfterEllen, The Establishment, Eye For Film...among others.
She has published numerous science fiction short stories and stage plays. Her literary work has appeared in various publications in print and online, as well as in curated art exhibitions in New York, Berlin and London.
Some of the most pivotal experiences that cemented her voice as an artist came from her restless relocation throughout her childhood and coming-of-age years. Taking the pen was a certainty. It was the only device to express her emotional arc from being a child in a war-torn Beirut city to landing as a strange Arab teenager in Detroit in mid 90s to morphing into the image of an Arab-American film director in Los Angeles and later to finding a home in New York City. Storytelling was her ploy to navigate through these transformations. Her interest in cinema came from her genuine fascination and devotion to literature. Therefore, her film work tends to bridge between literature and cinema by giving predominance to the science fiction genre.
Darine holds an MFA in screenwriting and film directing from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
She has mentored numerous screenwriting and film directing workshops at film festivals and institutions such as the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York, Arab World Institute in Paris, Arab American National museum in Detroit, Med Film Festival in Rome, Arab Film festival in Rotterdam, Mizna Literary Gathering in Minneapolis, Dubai international Writers’ Center in UAE among others.
In 2010, she founded Cinephilia Productions in New York city - an incubator for the development of filmmakers from the Middle East and Africa through various initiatives that occupy the space between ideation and production.
She has served as a jury member on several short film competitions at international film festivals such as Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York, Cinewest in Australia, Arab Film Festival in Rotterdam.
Her latest short film "Like Salt" is set to release in festivals in June 2018. She is currently working on developing her debut feature film screenplay "Like Salt".
She resides in New York City.
Photo by Tiffany Frances