Catalina Sandino Moreno made her screen debut as the title character in the critically-acclaimed film Maria Full of Grace from Fine Line Features/HBO

Catalina Sandino Moreno (Hildebranda Sanchez)

Catalina Sandino Moreno made her screen debut as the title character in the critically-acclaimed film Maria Full of Grace from Fine Line Features/HBO.
For her performance, Sandino was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. The film debuted in the U.S. at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award, and opened in limited release in July 2004. The film won the Grand Special Prize at the 2004 Deauville Film Festival. Sandino has earned other awards and nominations for her performance, including the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actress at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival, the Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actress at the 2004 Seattle International Film Festival and the award for Breakthrough Actor at the 2004 Gotham Awards. She was named ShoWest’s International Star of the Year for 2005.

In October, she will begin shooting the two-part biographical film about Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara who will be played by Benicio Del Toro. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film will be divided into two parts – Guerilla and The Argentine. Sandino will play the role of Che Guevara’s wife.

She was recently seen in the Antonio Cuadri period piece, The Heart of the Earth. The film surrounds the tensions that mount in an Andalusia mining town between local Spanish workers and their British employers. The film premiered in Spain on April 13th, 2007.

Sandino also recently starred in the Ethan Hawke directed film, The Hottest State. The film, which also stars Ethan Hawke, Laura Linney, Michelle Williams and Mark Webber, tells the story of a young actor from Texas (Webber) who is trying to make it in New York while struggling in his relationship with a beautiful singer/songwriter (Sandino). The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August 2006.

Sandino co-starred in the highly-anticipated Fast Food Nation. Directed by Richard Linklater, Fast Food Nation is an ensemble piece examining the health risks involved in the fast food industry and its environmental and social consequences as well. The film is a fictional take on the non-fiction, best selling novel by Eric Schlosser and also stars Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Bobby Cannavale and Greg Kinnear. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was released by 20th Century Fox.

Born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1981, Sandino became interested in theatre and stage at an early age. In 1997, while still in high school, she enrolled in the Ruben Di Pietro theatre academy in Bogotá. During her four years at the academy, she acted in such productions as "Acuerdo para Cambiar de Casa" by Griselda Gambaro, "The Dark Room" by Tennessee Williams, and "Laughing Wild" by Christopher Durang.

After making her film debut in Maria Full of Grace, Sandino relocated to New York City, where she attended The Lee Strasberg Institute. She made her New York stage debut in the Frog & Peach Theatre Company's production of Shakespeare's "King John."

In September 2006, Sandino completed production in Sao Paolo Brazil for Journey to the End of the Night written and directed by Eric Eason, co-starring Brendan Fraser and Mos Def. Upon completion, she went to Paris to shoot Paris, je t'aime with director Walter Salles. The film is about the plurality of cinema in Paris, the City of Love. Twenty filmmakers, including the Coen brothers, Alexander Payne and Wes Craven, have been given five minutes to tell a narrative, underlining the wide variety of styles, genres, encounters and the various atmospheres and lifestyles that prevail in the neighborhoods of Paris.

Sandino resides in New York.

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