My roles as a filmmaker, mother, and professor shape my artistic voice and drive me to uplift others as I develop my own work. I create a space for women and girls who are often disenfranchised, misunderstood, and othered, and tell stories that highlight their resilience and empower them to reclaim their narratives. My work explores mental health, substance use disorder and recovery, marginalization, grief, abandonment, and the shifting dynamics of familial relationships. The common thread running through each of my projects is the aftermath of trauma—the ripple effect it has on individuals' mental, physical, and emotional well-being, and how it shapes their personal identities and relationships. I am inspired by how people rise, survive, and even flourish in the face of adversity.
I draw from my own lived experiences and those of others, and allow my stories to dictate the visual form in which they can best be communicated: documentaries, experimental projects, installations and narrative films in both short and long formats. In the vein of other directors resisting grind culture and bringing joy to their work, I create inclusive environments that break down traditional hierarchical roles, fostering a communal exchange of ideas among the cast and crew. I approach my work with gratitude and intentionality, running equitable and sustainable sets that prioritize collaboration and the well-being of everyone involved. For me, the fulfillment of being an artist lies not only in what I create but also in how I create. I cultivate empathy, promote healing, and ignite a sense of shared humanity in both my collaborators and viewers.
Much of my early work was sparked by family history, like the skeleton in my cousin's closet (Beyond the Pale), my grandmother's immigrant experience (Bells for Her), her finding love again at ninety (True Love Waits), and the consideration of identity and kin through hairstyles (Pucky's Pappagallo). Later, I expanded my scope to include stories from outside the family circle; mothers struggling with mental illness (Moms and Meds), unusual sisters who can’t live with or without one another (I See a Darkness and Beneath the Remains), a bored 1950s housewife whose meatloaf comes to life (Commercial for the Queen of Meatloaf), and a large group of abandoned siblings (Days in the Wake). My most recent work centers on personal, authentic narratives about addiction and recovery, which represents a natural progression for me as a filmmaker in long-term recovery. This is a "coming full circle" moment, as I create this type of work and speak publicly about my personal connection to it, and I am grateful to be at a stage in my life and artistic career where I can give back through art and advocacy.
Dina Fiasconaro is a Baltimore screenwriter and director, and a 2021 recipient of the Baker Artist Award. Her films have screened at a variety of national and international venues and film festivals, including the Baltimore Museum of Art. Dina has honed her short films and feature scripts at MacDowell Artist Residency, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, Stowe Story Labs, Saul Zaentz Innovation Lab and GrrlHaus Cinema Seminar in Berlin. She has an M.F.A. in Directing from Columbia University, and a B.S. in T.V., Radio and Film from Syracuse University. She is a Professor of Film and Moving Image at Stevenson University, a member of Film Fatales, and founder of the Baltimore Women’s Media Alliance, working towards gender parity in the film industry.