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. 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 her first feature film Retiro, awarded with the Initiative Film Award at Crossroads Co-Production Forum of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and developed through the MFI Script 2 Film Workshops.
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.