Darine Hotait is a fiction writer, film director and the founder of Cinephilia Productions in New York. She has written & directed a number of short films that screened at reputable 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 (IAP) 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 interest in cinema came from her genuine fascination and devotion to literature. Her film work tends to bridge between literature and cinema by giving predominance to the science fiction genre. 

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.

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 around the world 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 on the jury of numerous international film festivals like Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York, Cinewest in Australia, Arab Film Festival in Rotterdam, Lebanese Film Festival, Palestine Cinema Days among others.

Her latest film "Like Salt" premiered in June 2018 and received the Best Narrative Experimental Award at the Oscar-Qualifying 21st Reel Sisters Film Festival in New York.

She is currently developing her debut feature film screenplay "Like Salt" that was selected in the Rawi Screenwriters' Lab - a Sundance Institute initiative - in July 2018.

She resides in New York City. 


Photo by Tiffany Frances