Fina Torres (born October 9th 1951) is a Venezuelan film director and screenwriter. She became internationally recognized by winning the la Caméra d'Or award at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival with her directorial debut film, Oriana.
Fina Torres was born in Caracas as Josefina Torres Benedetti. She studied design, photography, and journalism and at the age of 17 became a photojournalist. She enrolled at the Neumann institute for Design in 1970 as a graphics design student and also took social communication at Andrés Bello Catholic University.
In 1974, she moved to Paris where she would earn a bachelor's degree in cinematography, direction and editing from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques and spend the next 28 years of her life in the film industry. After Paris, she lived in the United States, Mexico, Singapore, and eventually returned to Venezuela, where she currently resides.
During her time in France, Torres worked as a photographer, camera operator, editor, and a film script supervisor. In 1983 she co-wrote a script with Antoine Lacomblez, ORIANA. for which she secured production funds from both Venezuela's state funding agency, FONCINE (Fondo de Fomento Cinematográfico de Venezuela) and the Secretary of Foreign Affaires France. The result would be Torres' first film, Oriana, for which she won the la Caméra d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival. It was described by critic Vincent Camby in The New York Times as a "Gothic Romance"
In 1996, Torres' second film Mécaniques Célestes/Mecánicas celestes (Celestial Clockwork), was released to critical acclaim in Toronto Film Festival and Sundance. Roger Ebert's review, August 16, 1996: “Celestial Clockwork” is a riotous carnival of music, colors, witchery, sexuality and magic.' 'If Almodóvar had made this movie, it would have been hailed as his best work in years.' </ref> Official Selection at Toronto Film Festival, pick of the Fest, and Sundance Film Festival. L.A. Outfest Los Angeles, California, USA 1996 Awards Grand Jury Award Outstanding Narrative Feature.
In 2000, Torres directed Woman on Top, Fox Searchlight production, with major star, Penélope Cruz. Was Official Selection Cannes Film Festival 1996, Un Certain Regard. Variety critic Lisa Nesselson July 26, 2000 wrote "A fantastical romp with a buoyant pace, exotic locations, a finger-popping score, appealing leads and spicy cooking demonstrations." "A contempo fairy tale about thwarted romance, the pic never falters in its adherence to its own bubbly, consistently inventive rhythm."
In 2010, Torres won the best feature film prize at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival with her film Habana Eva. The film also won the Best Venezuelan Film prize at the Margarita Film Festival in Venezuela.
In 2011 co-wrote Lions'Gate/Odd Lot Entertainment Romantic Comedy "From Prada to Nada", based on Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, starring Camilla Belle Adriana Barraza
Though Torres is primarily recognized as a director due to her award at Cannes, she is also a prolific screenwriter, having written the scripts for the majority of her own films, as well as a number of scripts for other directors. She has said that she considers screenwriting to be the most challenging aspect of film-making and is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD) of France.
Due to her success in international film festivals, Torres is one of the most recognizable Venezuelan filmmakers despite living abroad for much of her career. She has kept a focus on Latin America and Latin American themes throughout her career, and since moving back to Venezuela has taken part in a movement to aid in developing the Venezuelan national film industry.
In 1995 Torres was identified as part of a new movement in Latin American cinema focusing less on films with political themes as had been the norm, and more on universal themes like relationships and conflicts between traditional culture and modernity. Torres' films in particular, focus on strong female characters who defy patriarchal norms.
In an interview with GLAAD in 2015 she expressed a desire to help young gay and lesbian people through her film Liz in September. The film was an adaptation of "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove", a play known as part of the first wave of American gay theater and centers on LGBT themes. The film has a focus on Lesbian characters and issues and stars Venezuelan actress and model Patricia Velásquez, who identifies as lesbian.
ORIANA: CAMARA D'OR (Golden Camera) Cannes Festival, May 1985 Selection Officielle "Un certain regard" BRONZE HUGO, Chicago International film Festival, 1985 CATALINA DE ORO (Golden Catalina) Best film, Cartagena International film Festival, 1985 CATALINA DE ORO (Golden Catalina) Best script Cartagena's International Film Festival, 1985 GLAUBER ROCHA'S award Best Spanish language film, Figueira da Foz International Film Festival REVISTA MUJERES's AWARD Figueira da Foz International Film Festival august 1985 HONOUR MENCION of the Catholic Office-Figueira da Foz International Film Festival HONOUR MENCION of the Jury and HONOUR MENTION of the Catholic Office, MANHEIM Film Festival, 1985 NATIONAL AWARDS (PREMIOS MUNICIPALES DE CARACAS) BEST FILM - BEST DIRECTOR - BEST PHOTOGRAPHY - BEST ACTRESS, 1986. ATENEO DE CARACAS AWARD
CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK: PRIX DU PUBLIC, NAMUR FILM FESTIVAL 1995 GRAND JURY AWARD OUTSTANDING NARRATIVE FEATURE, OUTFEST Los Angeles Festival 1996 Anac National Award BEST VENEZUELAN FILM 1996 SPECIAL AWARD Washington Film Festival 1996
WOMAN ON TOP: Cannes Festival SELECTION OFFICIELLE, "Un Certain Regard" 2000 NOMINATED FOR BEST DIRECTOR at the 2001 Alma Awards OPENING NIGHT at the Los Angeles International Latino Film Fest. OPENING NIGHT at the Munich International Film Fest
HABANA EVA: BEST FILM New York International Latino Film Fest 2010 BEST FILM AND 2ND AUDIENCE AWARD Los Angeles International Latino Film Fest 2010 BEST FILM AUDIENCE AWARD, Amazonia International Film Fest, Brazil 2010 BEST FILM International Latino Margarita Film Fest 2010 BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Merida International Film Fest 2010 BEST ACTRESS Cines Unidos Award 2010 BEST FILM MESQUITE AWARD San Antonio Film Fest 2011 BEST ACTRESS Prakriti Maduro Punta Del Este Film Fest Uruguay
LIZ EN SEPTIEMBRE (Liz in September) Audience Award for Best Women's Feature at Atlanta's Out On Film LGBT Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature at the SouthWest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival SouthWest Gay and Lesbian FF, Audience Award Winner, Best Feature 2015 Atlanta's Out On Film, Best Women's Feature 2015 Festival Les Gais Cine Mad, España, Audience Award 2015 Festival Sant Andreu de la Barca, Best Foreign Film 2015 Out Film CT: Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Best Feature Audience Award Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Select directorial filmography
- Oriana (1985)
- Mécaniques Célestes" (1996)
- Woman on Top (2000)
- Habana Eva (2008)
- Liz en Septiembre (2013)
- "Festival de Cannes: Oriana". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- Nelmes, Jill, and Jule Selbo. Women Screenwriters: An International Guide. Print.
- Rist, Peter H. (2014). Historical Dictionary of South American Cinema. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 563. ISBN 978-0-8108-8036-8.
- Canby, Vincent. "'Oriane,' A Gothic Romance." New York Times (New York), September 29, 1985. Accessed January 27, 2016. ProQuest.
- "Habana Eva -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
- Harvey, Dennis. "Film Review: 'Liz in September'" Variety. January 20, 2016. Accessed January 27, 2016. http://variety.com/2016/film/reviews/liz-in-september-review-1201679719/.
- Vincent, Isabel. "A 'new Irreverence' Sweeps Latin America." The Globe and Mail (Toronto), September 13, 1995. Accessed January 27, 2016. ProQuest.
- Trasendes, Monica. "Actress Patricia Velásquez and Director Fina Torres on Their New Film 'Liz in September'" GLAAD. November 03, 2015. Accessed January 27, 2016. http://www.glaad.org/blog/actress-patricia-velásquez-and-director-fina-torres-their-new-film-liz-september.