Lorene Scafaria (born May 1, 1978) is an American screenwriter, playwright, actress, singer, and film director. She is best known for her work on the films Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, the latter her debut as director in 2012.
Scafaria was born and raised in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, the daughter of Gail and Joseph R. Scafaria. Her father was an Italian immigrant, from Gioia Tauro, Calabria. She first became interested in writing when she would write up a report on a completely fake book once a month to win Pizza Hut gift certificates from her school. She began to take an interest in storytelling and had written and produced her first play in Red Bank, New Jersey by the age of seventeen. After graduating from Holmdel High School in 1995 she attended Lafayette College in Pennsylvania for a year before switching to New Jersey's Montclair State University when she could no longer afford Lafayette's tuition. She graduated from Montclair with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Theater.
After moving to New York City, Scafaria wrote and put up a play at the Producer's Club Theatre called That Guy and Others Like Him, in which she also played a role. She also had a small role in the acclaimed short film, Bullet in the Brain, winner of nine festivals and produced by CJ Follini. Still her writing agent had yet to find her a job, and so she took on more acting roles, appearing in many theater productions in addition to the films Big Helium Dog and A Million Miles, among others. She sent out queries to twenty different agents, seeking representation, one of whom replied and asked Scafaria to move from New York to Los Angeles. Even though she did not anticipate real success with the agent, she moved out and became roommates with screenwriter Bryan Sipe, whom she had met making a film in New Jersey earlier. Neither of their work was considered "commercial" enough by studios, so they paired up to write a children's adventure film called Legend Has It. Revolution Studios bought the screenplay but asked for a re-write which Scafaria described as "far less interesting", and the project was ultimately shelved.
In early 2005, Scafaria was hired by Focus Features to adapt Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's book Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist into a film of the same name. The screenplay was her ninth, but her first adaptation. She is good friends with fellow writers Diablo Cody (Juno), Dana Fox (What Happens in Vegas), and Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached) with whom she collaborates in their writing group they call the "Fempire". In 2012, Scafaria and the "Fempire" received the Athena Film Festival Award for Creativity and Sisterhood. She wrote Iraqi war docudrama Sweet Relief for Paramount Pictures and The Mighty Flynn, a spec script which she set up at Warner Brothers. She has also written Man and Wife, which Gabriele Muccino is attached to direct.
In 2009, Mandate Pictures picked up Scafaria's script Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, a romantic comedy that focused on one man's quest for a meaningful connection amid the "end of days". The film marked the directorial debut for Scafaria, and was released in June 2012.
In 2015, she also directed a comedy-drama The Meddler based on her own script.
In 2019, Scafaria wrote and directed the crime comedy film Hustlers, based on a New York Magazine article from 2015, "The Hustlers at Scores," by Jessica Pressler.