"When people ask me, 'Where does your inspiration come from,' I would say absolutely my first answer is life. You know, by sitting on the bus and looking at people or just walking around. I am always seeing things that kick-start my thinking." -Andrea Arnold
I have always considered myself a keen observer of conversation, character, the absurd, the bizarre, the interesting. I find myself inadvertently honing in on people’s conversations, the way they dress and act, the way a certain environment looks or feels, and these moments and observations inevitably make their way into my screenplays and films.
Much of my early work has been informed by family stories and family members; a skeleton in my cousin’s closet (Beyond the Pale short film and feature script), my grandmother’s immigrant experience (Bells for Her screenplay), or finding love again at ninety (True Love Waits short film). My recent work, both documentary and narrative, focuses on stories of women, like the mothers struggling with mental illness in Moms and Meds, or the unusual twin sisters in I See a Darkness, or a bored housewife and her meatloaf come to life in Commercial for the Queen of Meatloaf, or my grandmother’s hair and its relationship to her identity and our family in Pucky’s Pappagallo.
I am currently transitioning into feature film directing with two projects. Days in the Wake is based on the true story of a man who, using a loophole in the Safe Haven law, abandons his nine children at a hospital after his wife dies in childbirth. In his wake, his oldest daughter
embarks on a quest to find her siblings, and get answers to his seemingly unconscionable actions. Beneath the Remains is a coming-of-age mystery about teenage metalhead Gabby and the search for her older sister Steph, who has disappeared in the humid summer of their marshland home. Both of these films continue to explore common themes of my work related to girl and womanhood, marginalization and familial relationships.
Dina Fiasconaro is a Baltimore screenwriter and film director, named a finalist for the 2019 and 2018 Baker Artist Award. Her feature documentary, Moms and Meds: Navigating Pregnancy and Psychiatric Medication, was released in 2016, and her short film, Commercial for the Queen of Meatloaf, was funded by the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media at Johns Hopkins University and has screened at over 20 film festivals. Dina recently completed a feature adaptation of Terence Hannum’s novella Beneath the Remains which she will continue to develop at the Grrl Haus Cinema Seminar in Berlin in summer 2019, and an original feature narrative script, Days in the Wake, as a resident at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, Stowe Story Labs and Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund Screenplay Lab. Her short films have screened at a variety of venues and film festivals, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, and she is a recipient of the ‘Generation Next’ screenwriting grant for her feature script, Beyond the Pale. Dina has an MFA in film directing from Columbia University, and a BS in TV, Radio and Film from Syracuse University. She is an Associate Professor of Film and Moving Image at Stevenson University, and is a member of Film Fatales, a national organization working towards gender parity in the film industry.