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. In 2023, she is 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.
In her previous career as artistic director of YARAT Contemporary Art Space in Baku, Azerbaijan she has curated numerous exhibitions, ran an artist residency, multi-disciplinary festivals and commissioned large scale art installations including artist films by Almagul Menlibayeva, Vajiko Chachkhiani, Hannah Black and Ahmet Ögüt among others. She has also curated independent projects for Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, MAMBo Bologna and the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich. Before then she was a specialist at Sotheby’s London, where she pioneered artists from the Caucasus and Central Asia. She holds an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and an MLitt in Modern and Contemporary Art from the University of Glasgow. She is currently doing her PhD in Literary, Visual and Musical Thought at the European Graduate School (Saas Fee).
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.