Elia Urquiza is a writer and director based in Los Angeles. Her work often explores the line between creative documentaries and realistic fiction. Recently she directed her first fiction TV Episode as part of the team of the upcoming Portuguese miniseries Vanda, produced in Portugal by Legendary Global TV, La Panda, and SPI. In 2018, her work as a writer and director in the innovative documentary TV show Lost L.A. was nominated for a Los Angeles Emmy (Episode 1/ Borderlands).
Elia's last short fiction project BFFS won the Spring Production Grant from Women In Film. The short film centers on the friendship of two young Latinas facing very different futures after the last summer of high school.
Her feature documentary Next - a portrait of four girls trying to become successful actresses in the outskirts of Hollywood - premiered in the prestigious Visions du Reel and won the Special Jury Prize at the Malaga Film Festival, among other awards.
Elia’s previous documentary films - De Carmen a Carmen, Between the Dictator and I, and Story of a Child- have also been showcased worldwide. In 2008 she received the prestigious La Caixa fellowship that enabled her to explore the possibilities of fiction in the Film Directing Program at the California Institute of the Arts under the mentorship of Monte Hellman.
As a producer, she has over fifteen years of experience managing feature films and commercials. She was the US line producer for the first LA Panda co-production, Open Windows, starring Elijah Wood, and shot partly in Austin, Texas. She has also managed spots for Kellogg´s, Ballantine's, Reebok, and Honda, among many others.
She also has ample experience in commercials, directing over 40 spots between 2010 and 2015. Elia is also known as a writer for hire and a prolific script consultant, particularly for Latino and Spanish-speaking projects.
On the side, Elia teaches film theory and practice through different subjects at programs in UCLA Extension, UCLA Oxbridge, and New York Film Academy. Also, she has been one of the programmers for the L.A. Ola contemporary Spanish cinema showcase for initial three years of its existance.