Elina Fessa was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. She studied photography at Yale University (B.A. 2003), film directing at FAMU and Columbia University (M.F.A. 2010), acting with Susan Batson, producing at La Femis and was selected for the Berlin and Sarajevo Talent Campuses. She is also an alumnus of the Berlinale Script Station and the MFI Script 2 Film Workshops.
She has directed commercials, produced the short film Cavo d’Oro (Locarno Film Festival), produced theater, and is currently a screenwriting and directing professor at EFTI Centro Internacional de Fotografía y Cine in Madrid and a freelance script consultant for workshops such as Coofilm and Cine Qua Non Lab. She’s made a number of short films that have screened at numerous festivals and have been awarded among others by the Directors Guild of America. Her latest short film Tracks was awarded for Best Actress at the Athens International Film Festival. Currently she is developing two feature films; Retiro, awarded with the Initiative Film Award at Crossroads Coproduction Forum of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, developed through the MFI Script 2 Film Workshop and a runner up for the Residencias of Academia de Cine and The Girl with the sun in her eyes selected for the prestigious SGAE Foundation X Laboratorio de Escritura de Guion de Cine.
Her work is atmospheric, subtle and character driven with strong female leads who often hide a lot under the surface. It has to deal with unresolved issues, self-discovery and relationships. It is important to her that her work rings truthful and has an emotional resonance with the audience.
She is also a mother of three.