Elina Fessa was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. She studied photography at Yale University, film directing at the Film and Television School in Prague (FAMU) and Columbia University in New York, acting with Susan Batson and producing at La Fémis in Paris, and was selected for the Berlin and Sarajevo Talent Campuses. She is also an alumnus of the Berlinale Script Station and the Mediterranean Film Institute (MFI) Script 2 Film Workshops.
Elina is currently a screenwriting professor at EFTI Centro Internacional de Fotografía y Cine in Madrid and a script consultant for residencies such as Coofilm in Spain. She has directed commercials, produced short films and theater, and has 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. Elina is currently developing two feature films — Retiro, awarded with the Initiative Film Award at Crossroads Coproduction Forum of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and developed at the MFI Script 2 Film Workshops, and The Girl with the Sun in Her Eyes, developed at the X Laboratorio de Guion de Cine of the SGAE Foundation and the MFI. Her work is atmospheric, subtle and character-driven, with strong female leads who often hide a lot under the surface, and deals with themes such as unresolved issues, self-discovery and relationships.