Christina Lazaridi

Screenwriter / Screenwriting Mentor

New York, New York, United States

Christina Lazaridi is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and expert in dynamic story design. Projects she has authored, or actively developed have won awards at Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, Oberhousen, Sarajevo Film Festival, Sundance, SXSW, and the Ariels (Mexican Oscars), among many others. Her most recent feature film, ​Nobody’s Watching​, (co-written with director J. Solomonof) premiered in the International Competition section of the Tribeca Film Festival where it won the top acting award. Nobody’s Watching was released internationally to wide critical claim as well as in New York, where it was a New York Times critic’s pick and was nominated in six categories for the esteemed 2018 Latin American Silver Condor Awards, where Lazaridi and Solomonoff won the Condor Award for best original screenplay. 

Lazaridi was born in Greece where she grew up in the theater, surrounded by a household of politicians, refugees, and powerful performers. Her written work focuses on high emotional impact narratives of dislocation and survival and her performance-centered screenplays have consistently attracted major collaborators both domestically and abroad: Her first feature film ​Coming Up Roses ​(co-written with dir. L. Albright) starred Broadway icon Bernadette Peters and introduced Rachel Broshnahan. Her historical feature documentary ​Varian and Putzi: A 20th Century Tale​, directed by Academy Award winner Richard Kaplan, was released theatrically at the Museum of Modern Art. In 2017 Christina’s first produced screenplay in Greece, ​Rosa of Smyrna​, was a box office sensation surpassing all international sales. Her most recent feature script, ​Murina ​(co-authored with director A. Kusijanovic) will be co-produced by Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Prods and RT Features in 2019. 

In 2008 Lazaridi joined the faculty at Princeton University, where she created and now runs the thriving screenwriting curriculum and screenwriting track for Princeton’s Creative Writing Program. Christina has also been part of the faculty at Columbia University’s Graduate film division for over a decade and she has extensively mentored international filmmakers through affiliations with major film festivals, writing programs, and production companies. Christina is a co-founding member and the core mentor of Cine Qua Non Labs in Mexico and currently holds the positions of director of studies at the Mediterranean Film Institute. Her three books on screenwriting methodology were commissioned and published by the Mediterranean Film Institute and European Union’s Creative Europe Program. 

After years of analysis of storytelling practices and their relation to audience response, Christina has recently partnered with Princeton's Neuroscience Institute and Uri Hasson’s Lab to investigate the representation of storytelling principles in the human brain. Their collaborative research has received the esteemed Magic Grant from the Humanities Council and their initial findings on the dynamic representation of storytelling in the human brain will be released in 2019.