"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 was informed by family stories; a 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 her hair and its relationship to identity and family in Pucky’s Pappagallo. My recent work, both documentary and narrative, focuses on stories of women and themes related to psychology, trauma and marginalization; mothers struggling with mental illness in Moms and Meds, unusual sisters in I See a Darkness and Beneath the Remains, a bored housewife and her meatloaf come to life in Commercial for the Queen of Meatloaf.
I am currently transitioning into narrative feature film directing with two projects. Days in the Wake is inspired by the true story of a young woman whose father abandons her nine younger siblings at a Safe Haven facility and disappears. The script received a Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund Development Grant and was selected for Stowe Story Labs and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony Residency.
Beneath the Remains is a coming-of-age mystery about a teenage metalhead and her search for her older sister, who has disappeared in the humid summer of their marshland home. The short version of this film received a Maryland State Arts Council Creativity Grant and was selected for the GrrlHaus Cinema Seminar Residency in Berlin, Germany.
In addition to exploring thematic threads related to womanhood, marginalization, familial relationships and mental illness in my work, I also strive to engage as many underrepresented and emerging filmmakers as possible. I am intentional in my hiring practices and aim to develop my own artistic voice while also uplifting others.
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.