England / UK & Azerbaijan
Suad Gara is a British-Azerbaijani filmmaker and curator. Her first short film BREAKFAST (2021) premiered at the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival in 2022 and won the Audience Choice award at the Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival. Her experimental short documentary HOW TO BECOME A MERMAID (2021) won the Kudos Award at Docs Without Borders. Her new film QARAGH (Wake Up) was completed in 2022 and shot in the mountains in Azerbaijan with mostly non-actors in the local dialect of the disappearing Lezgin language. She is currently working on her debut feature, HOTEL DIANA, that was selected for WEMW Trieste Co-Production Forum (2023) where it won the Pup Up Film Residency Award.
Rebellious teenager Deniz runs away from home and finds herself at a run-down beach resort, The Hotel Diana, whose curious inhabitants take her on a journey of self-discovery, where she learns that every freedom comes at a price.