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Hotel Diana

December 15, 2022


Hotel Diana



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.


Deniz is a rebellious 17 year old girl who runs away from her remote hometown in pursuit of a city life in Baku. She takes a bus to one of the Caspian Beach hotels run by her friend’s aunt, Diana (45), while constantly evading calls from her mother. There are many legends about Diana going around her hometown, so Deniz begs her for a job and she agrees to keep her for a while.

Situated among alluring establishments along the highway; hostels, chai-houses, restaurants, discotheques and aqua-parks, Diana Hotel is bold, kitschy and in desperate need of upkeep. As she goes about her odd jobs Deniz meets the hotel’s other curious staff, inhabitants and guests, including the star of evening entertainment, the transgender drag singer Samira (37). Life opens up to Deniz through their struggles, aspirations and humor. All the while her mother’s phone calls get more violent as her family members set out to bring her back home.

As their relationship develops, Diana and Samira build Deniz’s ideas of femininity, challenging her beliefs of what it means to be a woman. Until one fateful night Samira goes missing. The ensuing search for their friend uncovers their own secrets, as Diana struggles to keep her hotel and Deniz fears she might never find her way to the big city after all.

Director’s Profile

Suad Gara is a British-Azerbaijani curator and filmmaker. 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 short doc, «HOW TO BECOME A MERMAID» (2021) won the Kudos Award at Docs Without Borders. Her new film “QARAG (WAKE UP)” was completed in August 2022 and shot in the mountains in Azerbaijan with mostly non-actors in the local dialect of the disappearing Lezgin language.
Suad was a chief curator and artistic director of YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku, from 2014 until 2020. She has curated numerous thematic exhibitions, ran an artist residence, a multidisciplinary education and public program, and commissioned large scale art installations including artist films by Almagul Menlibayeva, Vajiko Chachkhiani, Hannah Black, Ahmet Öğüt and Farid Rasulov. 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 and curator at Sotheby’s London introducing artists from Central Asia and the Caucasus to the UK art market for the first time. 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/Valetta)

Company Profile

ASTERISK FILMS creates feature films and produces documentaries. We are passionate advocates of women in the Arts. Asterisk attended WEMW in 2022 with VIRGINIA WOOLF’S NIGHT & DAY, to be directed by BAFTA nominated director Tina Gharavi, and co-produced with Piccadilly Pictures, Meg Thomson and Blinder Films Ireland, now scheduled for production in Ireland in March 2023. Previous productions include documentary feature film JANINE JANSEN: FALLING FOR STRADIVARI, (Winner Czech Television Prize 2021, Golden Prague Awards) and FORCE OF NATURE NATALIA, directed by BAFTA-winning Gerry Fox, about ballerina Natalia Osipova.