in Like with us

Crayons of Askalan
Leila Hoteit

Laila Hotait is a filmmaker and curator. She holds a Bachelor in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. As a Fulbright Scholar she studied Cinema, Directing and Script Writing at the San Francisco State University. Hotait was fortunate to accomplish her Master’s Internship at Francis Ford Coppola production company American Zoetrope. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Audiovisual Communication Department, Universidad Carlos III and is doing her research on Lebanese Cinema d´auteur. Her film, “The South is back” (2008) was produced by Rossellini films, Italy. Her film project “The Crayons of Askalan” has been granted funding from Screen Institute Beirut and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture in a program in association with the Sundance Documentary Institute. It has also been selected as one of the ten projects for the Editing Studio at the Berlinale Talent Campus, 2011, and in Dox Box Damascus, 2011. Hotait is one of the 10 international filmmakers selected at the Documentary Lab held in DPHX Documentary Lab in Denmark, 2011.

Country of Origin: Lebanon/Spain/Qatar
2011/Arabic/English subtitles/60 mins
The film is based on the powerful story of the Palestinian artist Zuhdi Al Adawi. In 1975, at the age of fifteen, Zuhdi was sentenced and confined in the notorious high security prison in Askalan, for fifteen years. With the help of his fellow prisoners and their families, he managed to stay alive by smuggling in color crayons, and smuggling out his allegorical artwork, so it finds its way to the outside world.
Director: Laila Hotait Salas
Producers: Federika Odriozola & Laila Hotait Salas
Co-producer: Nadia Hotait
Script: Laila Hotait Salas & Tetra Balestri
Director of photography: Diego Lopez Calvin
Editor: Miguel Burgos
Original Music: Scrambled Eggs
Sound Design: Tunefork studio, Beirut
Post-production & vfx Studio: user-t38
Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Qatar, 2011
CPH: Dox Festival, Denmark, 2011
Montevideo International Film Festival (Official Competition), Uruguay, 2012
Hot Docs (Official Competition), Toronto, 2012
Documenta Madrid (Official competition), Spain, 2012
Baghdad International Film Festival (Arab Women Filmmakers Official Competition) Iraq, 2012
Biennale of Short films and Documentaries of Queretaro, Mexico, 2012
DocsDF Mexico (International Documentary Festival Mexico), Mexico, 2012
Latin Arab Film Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012
San Marino Film Festival, Italy, 2012
Mostra de cine de Oriente Medio, Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2012
KARAMA Human Right Film Festival 2012 Main Program Amman – Jordan 2012
Cinema Verité, Iran International Documentary Film Festival Iran – 2012
INSAN, Human Rights Film festival – Opening film Ramallah, Palestine – 2012
Festival Itinerante Peru – 2012
Festival 14,4 Km Madrid & Cordoba, Spain –2013
Arizona International Film festival - USA 2013
Museum Mahmud Darwish Ramallah, Palestine, May, 2014
Special screenings:
Museum Of Fine Arts in Boston (Thematic program: Palestinian political prisoners)
Toronto Palestine Film Festival, Canada
University Film Festival 24 segundoInstitutoTecnologico de Monterrey
Documenta QRO - Mexico - 2014