by Darine Hotait

2018 - USA
25 minutes


. HBO HQ New York | Roster Showcase
. 13th Leiden International Film Festival
. 29th Journée Cinématographique De Carthage JCC
. 21st Reel Sisters of the Diaspora, New York
. 13th Tacoma Film Festival, Washington
. 12th Boston Palestine Film Festival, Boston
. 13th Mizna Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
. 5th Olhares De Mediterraneo, Lisbon
. 13th Lebanese Film Festival
. 42nd Montreal World Film Festival
. 10th Marfa Film Festival, Texas
. Festival Des Cinemas Arabes (Institut Du Monde Arabe), Paris
. 15th Utah Arts Festival, Salt Lake City
. 13th Cinetopia Film Festival, Detroit

Best Experimental Narrative Short
— 21st Reel Sisters Film Festival New York


. Femme Magazine | Feature Interview, October 2018

Women Cinemakers | Feature Interview, August 2018

On Orient | Interview, August 2018 (in French)

.  We Are Moving Stories | Interview, July 2018

— The Utah Review
Filmed with mastery
— Médiaterranée, Paris
Extraordinary Moving Film
— Women Cinemakers, Berlin
Darine Hotait’s Like Salt is a masterful work signed with intelligence and a precise sense of humor.
— New York New Women Voices in Film

When living in diaspora turns into a boxing match, one learns to fight even with bare knuckles. Hala, an Arab American female boxer in New York City, and Kendrick, an African American jazz musician, improvise their way through a passive-aggressive America. 

Written & directed by Darine Hotait
Produced by Cinephilia Productions . In Co-Production with Digital Bodega
Producer: Erika Rydell & George Velez
Executive Producer: Daquan Saxton

Starring: Jessica Damouni (Hala) & Ben Williams (Kendrick)
Cast: Timothy Hickernell (Ran), Zayn Alexander (Sari), Sarah Bitar (Faten), Amal Khalil (Mona), Fady Kerko (Ahmed), JackSochet (Town Sheriff), Kareem Hegazi (Bodega Owner) & Salah Anwar (Bodega Employee).
Special Appearance: Tarek Yamani (Pianist), Theo Croker (Trumpet Player) & Jonathan Barber (Drummer).

Director of Photography: Autumn Eakin
Production Designer: Josefina Laban
Costume Designer/stylist: Lowri Best
Original Score: Tarek Yamani  
Sound Design: Charles De Montebello/ CDM Sound Studios
Editor: Darine Hotait
Color grading: Jaime O'Bradovich/ Company 3
Visual Effects: Hecat Studio

Shot on location in New York City at Cornelia Street Cafe, in Brooklyn at Rollin' Studios and in Pennsylvania at The Lynnville Hotel.

Release Date: July 2018

by Darine Hotait

2015 - USA
14 minutes


. Winner Jury Award 'Best Creative Short'
21st Med Film Festival, Rome

. Winner 'Best Short Fiction'
3rd Herat International Women Film Festival, Afghanistan

. Winner 'Best Live-Action Short' 
  Winner 'Audience Award'
  Winner 'Best in Fest'
Border Arts Film Festival, New Mexico

. Winner 'Best Short Fiction Jury Award' 
2nd Women Media & Arts Film Festival, Sydney

. Winner Jury 'Special Mention Award'
5th Latin Arab Film Festival

. Winner Jury 'Special Mention Award'
12th Lebanese Film Festival 

Upcoming screenings

. OutFest Film Festival by HBO
Los Angeles, California | July 10 (Harmony Gold) 
. Lit Up Literature Festival - Manchester, UK | August 14 at FabCare
. 6th St.George Bank Lebanese Film Festival - Sydney, Australia | August 28 at The Theatre Bankstown Sports
. Mishkal Festival - Beirut, Lebanon | September 6 at 5:30pm at Madina Theater
. 2nd Scottish International Film Festival - Glasgow, Scotland | September 29 at Center of Contemporary Arts
. Proud Film Festival- Aarhus, Denmark | October 1
. New York Film Week - New York, USA | October 3-9
. 14th annual Southwest Film Festival - Albuquerque, New Mexico | Oct 7-16
. 10th Boston Palestine Film Festival - Boston, USA | October 14-30 at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
. Zebra Poetry Film Festival- Münster/Berlin, Germany | October 27-30
. 5th Evolution Mallorca International film festival - Palma De Mallorca, Spain | November 6 at Cineciutat

Past screenings:
. 2nd Women Media & Arts Film Festival - Sydney, Australia | September 2015
. 3rd Herat International Women Film Festival - Afghanistan | October 2015
. 66th Montecatini International Short Film Festival - Montecatini, Italy | October 2015
 . 5th Homochrom Film Festival
Cologne, Germany | October 2015
. 5th Englewood International Film Festival
Chicago, USA | October 2015
. 15th International Diaspora Film Festival
Toronto, Canada | November 2015
. 29th Braunschweig International Film Festival - Germany | November 2015
. 5th Latin Arab International Film Festival
Buenos Aires, Argentina | November 2015
(director in attendance)
. 21st Med Film Festival
Rome, Italy | November 2015
(director in attendance)
. 10th Mizna Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
Minneapolis, USA | November 2015. 3rd Arab Camera Festival
Rotterdam, The Netherlands | November 2015 (director in attendance)
. 5th Eko International Film Festival
Lagos, Nigeria | November 2015
. 9th NDU International Film Festival
Beirut, Lebanon | November 2015
(director in attendance) 
.14th Filmmor International Film Festival Women on Wheels - Istanbul, Turkey
4-10 March 2016
. 3rd Berlin Feminist Film Week
Berlin, Germany | 10 March 2016
. La Feminista Series at Les Femmes Underground International Film Festival- Venice, CA | 12 March 2016
. Socially Relevant Film Festival, New York | 17 March 2016 (Bow Tie Cinema Chelsea)
. 10th Female Film Festival Malmo
Malmo, Sweden | 4-10 April 2016
. Middle East Film and Comic Con, Dubai Screening + Panel | 8 April 2016 (director in attendance)
. 11th Festival International du Film Oriental de Geneve | 11-17 April 2016
. Long Week of Short Films Festival in China
 Shanghai, China | May 5-15 at Minsheng Museum of Contemporary Arts in Shanghai
. Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival
Cannes, France | May 16-20
. 2nd Reel Festival of World Cinema
Sydney, Australia | May 21 (Sutherland Entertainment Centre)
. New Filmmakers New York
New York, USA | May 25 (Anthology Film Archives) (director in attendance)
. Lebanese Film Festival

Beirut, Lebanon | June 2
. Vilnius Kreives LGBT Festival - Lithuania | June 15-22
. 6th National Literary Gathering Mizna + RAWI
Minneapolis, USA | June 17 at Open Book

There is romance, sweet and ephemeral - an encounter more potent, perhaps, for the sense of coming home. A thoughtful film which packs a lot of ideas into a tight space, I Say Dust speaks well to the talents of those involved. It’s no surprise that it has multiple awards to its name.
— Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film (Edinburgh)
In 15 minutes of beautifully shot frames, you travel through time, space, and various emotions. Hotait flirts with ideals that go beyond the norm of Arab-American culture, like two same-sex characters kissing. But she is clear that this isn’t meant to raise eyebrows or push buttons; she is merely translating what she sees as reality. This short film, like her others, packs a punch.
— Jasmine Bager, The Establishment
The characters are complex, the writing - interspersed with poetry - is so touching, and the shots so poignant it just seems like a damn shame it’s a short film rather than a feature length film.
— Wided Khadraoui, Kalimat Magazine
I Say Dust is cleverly written, curiously directed and brilliantly performed.
— Women Media Arts & Film Festival - Jury, Sydney
The director Darine Hotait challenges the limits of conservatism with delicate elegance and metaphors. She also glimpses a concept of identity that is elastic, poetic and ever-changing. Only in this way, from a world without attachments, I Say Dust surrenders to the power of words.
— Clara Massot, LATINARAB Film Festival, Buenos Aires.
For the delicacy and intimacy with which this short was able to express a problem, that of diaspora, and be very intense and exciting. The inner world can structure the outer. Life writes poetry and poetry writes life, in this sense, I SAY DUST has managed to achieve the human desire to share it, and tell it.
— Med Film Festival, Jury - Rome, Italy

Two Arab-American women in New York City fall in love, argue home and identity, engage in a chess battle, and express themselves through the power of the spoken word. 'I Say Dust' explores poetry in cinema through the story of Hal, a poet belonging to the Palestinian diaspora in NYC, who meets Moun, a free-spirited chess boards sales girl. Their brief love affair challenges their understanding of what makes home.

Keywords: Diaspora, Poetry, Arab American, Identity, Love, Women, Chess
Genre: Drama, Romance, LGBT

written & directed by Darine Hotait
produced by Dina Emam
cast: Mounia Akl, Hala Alyan

director of photography: George Lyon
production designer: Francisca Alegria Zenteno
editor: Darine Hotait
music: Tarek Yamani
set photography: Luc Kordas

Shot on location in New York City at Chess Forum and Alwan For The Arts.

Release Date: September 26. 2015





Kalimat magazine, July 30th, 2015 by Wided Khadraoui
. Escribiendocine, November 11, 2015 by Rolando Gallego (Buenos Aires)
. Diario Sirio Libanes, February 16, 2016 by Jodor Jalit (Buenos Aires)  
. Florence of Arabia, March 7, 2016 by Zahra Hankir (London)
The Establishment, April 7th, 2016 by Jasmine Bager Cruz
We Are Moving Stories, May 23, 2016 by Carmela Baranowska
. Agenda Culturel, June 14, 2016                  
LA TIMES June 22, 2016 by Trevell Andreson
AfterEllen July 7, 2016 by Erin Faith Wilson
Eye For Film September 26, 2016 by Jennie Kermode (Edinburgh)
. Your Middle East October 12, 2016 by Kurt Werren/Victor Argo
Boston Palestine Film Festival October 26, 2016 Interview

by Yasmina Hatem

15 minutes

download EPK

Montreal World Film Festival - 2013
Beirut International Film Festival - 2013
Lebanese Film Festival - 2014
International Film Week Regensburg - 2014
Lebanese Film Festival - Sydney 2014

Based on true facts, a young boy takes a shisha delivery job to help his ailing mother but it turns out to be a lot more than he bargained for.

written & directed by Yasmina Hatem
produced by Darine Hotait
In collaboration with Outbox Film Festival

cast: Zayn Makdessi, Hussein Khazaal, Naji Hatem, Joy Karam, Assaad Kassab
director of photography: Karim Ghorayeb
production design: Issa Kandil
editor: Darine Hotait
music: Tarek Yamani
sound design: Bilal Yamani
trailer editor: Ala'a Yamani
set photography: Jean Boutros




Starting august 31st, 2016

Starting august 31st, 2016

by Darine Hotait

2011 - USA
35 minutes

. Winner Audience Award at Zero Film Festival in Los Angeles
. Winner Best Short Film at Evolution International Film Festival
. Winner Best Original Score at Los Angeles International Film Festival
. Honorable Mention at Los Angeles International Film Festival
. Nominated Best Foreign Short Film at International Filmmaker Film Festival in UK

La Cabina Film festival
San Francisco Int. Women Film Festival
Zero Film Festival
Evolution International Film Festival
Los Angeles International Film Festival
International Filmmaker Film Festival
Lebanese Film Festival
Cannes Short Film Corner
Clermont Ferrand Film Market

La Cabina ‘Beirut… Hide & Seek’ de Darine Hotait, sélection officielle de ‘La Cabina 2011’.
. Elle Orientale Talent A Suivre
Time Out Magazine Close Up: Darine Hotait

Beirut 1982 - A family is stuck in the middle of civil war. The war, up to this point political, becomes an internal family struggle when Jamila discovers the secret queer relationship between her brother Samir and his friend Omar.

written & directed by Darine Hotait
produced by Romson Niega
cast: Elissa Boustani, Aurore Joly, John Prudhont, Charles Marina, Abazar Noorizad, Hanan Helwe, Hamza Saman

director of photography: Mary Doyle
production design: Ying-Te Julie Chen
editor: Abazar Noorizad
original score: Nathan Matthew David
sound design: Blaine O'Brien  





by Darine Hotait

2010 - USA
8 minutes

. Winner Excellency in Filmmaking at Evolution International Film Festival
. Best Short Film at Art Center Film Festival

Chicago Short Film Festival
Salento International Film Festival
Portland Oregon International Women's Film Festival
Cannes Short Film Corner

Distributed by the Journal of Short Film DVD Volume 31. Get copy here

The confusion of a young woman trapped between religion and sexuality leads her to see her womanly fantasies transform to nightmares.

written & directed by Darine Hotait
cast: Jessica Sylvia, Brian Carter, Sonya Mahgrefteh, Razia Noorzay, Elizabeth Koshak

director of photography: Chris Saul
editor: Abazar Noorizad
original score: Nathan Matthew David
production designer: Ying-Te Julie Chen