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Petra Costa (Brazil)

Petra Costa (1983) is a Brazilian filmmaker and actress. Before ELENA, Petra directed and produced the short film Undertow Eyes, a poetic depiction of aging and love, as seen through the perspective of her grandparents. In 2009, Undertow Eyes was selected and exhibited in over a dozen international festivals and took top prizes at nine, including best short film at Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, best short documentary at Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (Austin, Texas) and the special jury award at Gramado Film Festival.

In ELENA, her first feature-lenght film, Petra repetes the experience of create from an intensely personal account, this time about love and loss, and project that onto the screen in a poetic and delicate way.

Petra completed her undergraduate studies Summa Cum Laude in Anthropology and Theater at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. She did her Masters in Health, Community and Development at the London School of Economics, London. From the age of 15, she has been working professionally as an actress.

Watch online masterclass from Visions du réel 2020:


  • The Edge of Democracy
  • Olmo & the Seagull
  • Elena
  • Olhos de Ressaca
  • Don Quixote of Bethlehem
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