“I BELIEVE TIME IS CYCLICAL.”
Laila Hotait Salas is an award winning Lebanese-Spanish filmmaker and artist.
In her work, she explores narrative through films, installations, sound art and photographs, across a historical background against which the characters should find their place in the world. Her approach to filmmaking is concerned with an image that blurs the line between documentary and fiction.
“I create based on the idea that we all are an architectural structure made of souvenirs and amnesia, both with the same weight, reflecting this in our individual and collective History.”
Hotait studied a MFA on Filmmaking at San Francisco State University as a Fulbright fellow, she also holds a Ph.D. in Media Studies from the University Carlos III Madrid, from which she graduated receiving the Research in Humanities University Award.
Hotait films have been supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Sundance Documentary Fund Program, Screen Institute Beirut, Cine Qua Non Lab, Berlinale Talents, the Doha Film Institute and the CPH:LAB/Danish Film Institute.
Laila Hotait’s hybrid feature documentary ‘Crayons of Askalan’ was screened in festivals, including Hot Docs, Doha Tribeca Film Festival, CPH:DOX and DocsDF; and the curated VOD platforms MUBI and BBC Arabic.
“FAMILY SECRETS SHOULD BE REVEALED FOR THE SCARS TO HEAL.”
Pictures taken by Pedro Cerisola
“I believe our body is as important as the soul when it comes down to building ourselves in abstract.”
Hotait began her career as a director working for worldwide broadcaster AlJazeera Children TV channel. Afterwards, she produced for Rosellini films in Rome, a feature documentary film on the aftermath of the 2006 bombings over Lebanon.
In 2011, she co-founded with her sister Nadia LAAVENTURA Art Films, where they have produced several films and art works since.
Her artworks have received the ‘Generaciones Art Award’, the ‘Laguna Art Prize-Artist in Gallery’ and ‘Nova 100 award’ and she was a finalist for the ‘Celeste Award’. Her work has been echibited at venues such as the Arsenale of Venice, La Casa Encendida, Centre Pompidou, the Kunst-im-Tunnel Museum in Düsseldorf and art galleries around the world.
“THERE ARE NO HEROES, BUT THERE ARE VICTIMS.”
Laila has spoken at UNESCO’s headquarters in Mexico, the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, and several private and public universities around the world. Hotait has worked as a University teacher and international consultant for film projects and filmmakers in Canada, China, Spain and Mexico. Laila is the current Head of Film Department and Original content at La Rueda Productions in Mexico.
Hotait artistic and academic production delves into how every individual’s -both everyday and intimate- life is deeply affected by the political events that take place, not only in their region but globally. While, at the same time, those same citizens do fall in love, try to understand the meaning of life and go through the universal traumas and joys of every life stage.
Laila Hotait uses meditation individually and collectively with her team as a tool in every phase of creation allowing shamata to permeate the whole process.