An award wining screenwriter and internationally renowned screenwriting mentor, Christina Lazaridi’s films have been nominated for an Academy Award (“One Day Crossing”) and have won prizes in the Berlin Film Festival (“U Plavetnilo”) and Tribeca Film Festival (“Nadie Nos Mira”) among others. Her last feature film, “Ismael and Rosa” (a Greek/Turkish co-production) was a Greek Box Office hit during the 2016-17 season.
Christina Lazaridi joined Princeton’s Faculty at the Lewis Center and the Creative Writing Program at 2008 and at present is a full-time lecturer in screenwriting.
Christina has mentored hundreds of screenwriters through South America, the United Arab Emirates, Europe, and the US, and has worked as a script editor for several international film development funds. She has worked as a screenwriter and story consultant within the West Coast studio system (New Line and Bruckheimer Productions among others) as well as the New York indie scene and multiple international co-productions. Films she has helped develop have won awards at Cannes, Berlin, and the Ariels (Mexican Oscars), among others.
In addition to her creative and teaching work, Lazaridi has a deep research interest in the neuroscience of storytelling and audience response. Together with her Princeton-based research partner, neuroscientist Uri Hasson, she has been the recipient of the esteemed Magic Grant from the Humanities Council for their breakthrough research project of memory, storytelling and the brain.
Christina has written three books on screenwriting methodology, Stories That Change: A Diagnostic Manual for Troubleshooting Your Screenplay and Stories That Change: Studies of Screenplays in Motion Part I &II, commissioned and published by the Mediterranean Film Institute in conjunction with European Union’s Media Development Program.
Christina has also taught extensively at Columbia University’s Graduate Film division, and is a senior screenwriting mentor and director of studies at the Mediterranean Film Institute, one of Europe’s top script development programs. Christina is the Academic Director and a founding member of Cine Qua Non Labs in Mexico, an international screenwriters’ think-tank retreat. Lazaridi has helped develop numerous award-winning projects including the globally acclaimed Mexican films La Jaula de Oro, (Diego Quemada-Diez, Cannes 2013), and Hilda, (Andres Clariond-Rangel, Ariels 2016), as well as La Casa Mas Grande del Mundo (Lucia Carreras, and Ana Bojorquez, Berlin 2015.) Tamara y La Catarina, (Toronto 2016), Camino a La Paz, (Mar del Plata, 2015) and La novia del desierto, (Cannes 2017).
During her career, Christina has also taught at NYU, Emerson College, UCLA, SUNY, and CUNY. She has been a judge for “The Balkan Fund” and the “Student Academy Awards,” and has run numerous labs, including the Immersion Screenwriters Lab for the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.
In addition to her feature film work, Lazaridi wrote and produced Assignment: Rescue, a half-hour documentary for Richard Kaplan Productions, narrated by Meryl Streep. She also researched, wrote and co-produced the historical feature documentary Varian and Putzi: A 20th Century Tale. The film was directed by Academy Award® winner Richard Kaplan and was released theatrically at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Lazaridi’s screenplays have won a variety of European Media Development awards, a Euroscript Development Award and a Chris Kazan Memorial Award.
Her first produced feature screenplay, Coming Up Roses, was directed by Lisa Albright and starred Bernadette Peters and Peter Friedman. It was released theatrically by AMC Theaters and was distributed by Indican Pictures in 2014. Her adaptation Rosa of Smyrna (a Greek-Turkish co-production) was a box office sensation in Greece in 2017, surpassing all international sales. Lazaridi is the co-writer of Julia Solomonof’s new feature film, Nobody’s Watching, which was picked up for distribution by FIGA films in 2017. The film premiered in the International Competition section of the Tribeca Film Festival in the spring of 2017, where it won an award for Best Actor.
Lazaridi and her film-partner, director Antoneta Kusijanovic, participated in the 2017 Berlinale with their film Into the Blue (U Plavetnilo) that was awarded a Special Mention by the International Jury. The film was also awarded a Jury prize at the Oberhousen 2017 Film Festival. Their adaptation of Kurt Vonegut’s “The Honor of a Newsboy” (The Last Day of Charlie E Rays) starred the Emmy-award nominated Len Cariou. Lazaridi and Kusijanovic are currently in active development with their feature film, MURINA, anticipating production in 2018.
Christina Lazaridi holds a B.A in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing (Honors) from Princeton University and an MFA in Screenwriting (Honors) from Columbia University.
Rosa of Smyrna (2016)
Coming Up Roses (2011)