By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz August 21, 2010 at 5:53AM
Fina Torres (Josefina Torres Benedetti) was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Her film Habana Eva, a Cuban Venezualan co-production, shows tonight at LALIFF. Fina studied design, photography and journalism in Venezuela and earned her bachelors degree in cinematography at the Institute de Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques in Paris. After graduating, she worked as a film editor, camera operator, and script supervisor and also made short films and documentaries. Her debut feature Oriana (which she directed, wrote, and produced) won the Cannes Festival Camera d’Or and international acclaim. In 2001, she directed the romantic comedy Woman on Top starring Penelope Cruz, which was nominated for Best Director at the 2001 Alma Awards. Filmed in Havana with the cooperation of ICAIC, Cuba's film arm, the picture not only stars Prakriti Maduro, Juan Carlos García, and Carlos Enrique Almirante, but also the beautiful city itself with interiors and exteriors that make you want to get on a plane immediately, before it's all gone.
"If I was forced to compare her to an American actress, Julia Roberts would come to mind, immediately."