(who is tired of reading formal bios that tell you nothing about who a person actually is):
...Look, you're going to read my bio and I'm sure you need to for official purposes, right? Here's what to keep in mind as you go through this page: my work is a reflection of me trying to organize my thoughts, my traumas, my experiences, and my interests. For a lack of better, less cheesy words, my mess is my message. And stories are what tie it all together. They are at the heart of everything I do. My own stories, real or fictionalized. And giving people the tools to tell their own stories (because I refuse to buy into the outdated 'giving a voice to the voiceless' narrative.) I also believe in allowing the story to choose its medium. Or so I've seen by working across multiple platforms. In summary, I write, direct, design, and produce multi-platform stories, ranging from traditional films & TV to immersive video installations and video games. Now off you go, read my official bio.
A Palestinian multi-platform writer, director, and producer with a strong eye for design, Mayar Hamdan has worked on a variety of projects, ranging from video games to films/TV to video installations. Her visual approach is rooted in color theory, which she uses to explore complex MENA-centered themes of migration, displacement, and feminism through an interdisciplinary lens.
She obtained a BS in Media Industries and Technology at Northwestern University and an MFA in Art and Technology at the California Institute of the Arts. During her time at CalArts she worked on her debut interactive 360º feature film Al-Mashata.
Hamdan previously worked for multiple mobile gaming companies as an interactive-story writer in Barcelona, Spain, and as the Lead Narrative Designer of the Saudi video game company Lunacy Studios. Additionally, she worked on the Doha Film Institute's Film Training and Development team. During that time, Hamdan directed, wrote, developed, and produced several independent projects, most notably Beit Byoot (2019) which can be streamed on SundanceTV, and Don't Get Too Comfortable (2021) which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival.
Hamdan is currently based between Los Angeles, CA, and Doha, Qatar. She is a story consultant for multiple AAA games, a writer for a NetflixMENA show in development, an independent new media producer (CR,AR,VR,&XR), and Northwestern University Studio20Q's Film and New Media Industry Advisor. Additionally, she is in production on her feature-length absurdist architectural documentary titled 'The Myth of Mahmoud'.
As a transmedia storyteller with a strong focus on visual design, my work explores the manipulation of space and architectural narratives. The foundations of my work lie in my multicultural background as a Palestinian having lived all over the Middle East, Spain, and the U.S.
Color theory and research are central aspects of my independent storytelling process. I examine colors across various mediums, themes, and cultures. By challenging the viewers' expectations of narratives that exist within certain color schemes, I create immersive and thought-provoking works, whether in documentary or fiction formats.
Throughout all my works, I use spaces and the narratives they embody to explore my themes of interest. I deconstruct these spaces, stripping them of their natural colors and applying my own strict color schemes to exert control over the environments I create. While in reality, I do not have control over being a displaced Palestinian woman, in the worlds I create, color allows me to create my own reality.
Previously I've had experience writing for both AAA and indie games, as well as working with film production houses in various roles including writer, director, producer, and production designer. Utilizing the skills I've gained from these diverse backgrounds, I went on to write, direct, produce, and art-directed several independent films.
My education background includes a BS in Media Industries and Technology, with a concentration in Film and 2D animation, followed by an MFA in Art and Technology from CalArts, with a concentration in integrated and immersive media. Through these programs, I further developed my storytelling skills by exploring emerging technologies and experimenting with new media.
After expanding my skills in new media, I produced a multimedia film titled Don't Get Too Comfortable (2021) which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. Additionally, I worked as a digital producer for multiple companies, including TikTok, predominantly helping creators tell their own stories. Independently, I created AR and VR experiences, namely, my interactive 360º feature film Al-Mashata.
My current storytelling practice spans across films&TV, games, and utilizing immersive technologies. Throughout my work, color and autobiographical narratives always remain at the forefront.
PERSONAL PROJECTS & PRESS