Teresa Cavina studied at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice (degree in Arabic), a city where she lived for many years collaborating with various institutions, including Palazzo Grassi and The Querini Stampalia Foundation. Between 1988 and 1997 she collaborated with the Biennale Cinema holding different positions, among which Experts coordinator and Responsible for foreign relations under the direction of Gillo Pontecorvo.
In 1998 she began her collaboration with the Locarno Film Festival, first as director of programming (1998-2000) and then as artistic director (2001-2005). In Locarno she founded In Progress, a section dedicated to the contamination between art and cinema, and Open Doors dedicated to lesser-known cinemas.
In 2006, she co-founded and co-directed the Rome Festival, co-signing the first three editions, and founded New Cinema Network, a section of the Business Street market, dedicated to films still in progress by young international authors with a part reserved to the development of second-time young European directors. To allow a true international dimension, she established collaborations with L’Atelier du Festival in Cannes and with HAF (Asian Film Financing Forum), for which she still collaborates as international consultant.
In 2009 she was the artistic director of the FIPA of Biarritz, a position she held for 3 editions. A festival dedicated to television productions and documentaries.
In 2009 she also took on the role as director of programming and member of the leadership team of ADFF (Abu Dhabi Film Festival) of which she oversaw programming, growth strategies and “industry activities” until 2014, rating the festival as one the most important film events in the Arab world, attentive to international intercultural exchanges and to the discovery and support of the creative and modern trends which have characterized the Arab world in the last ten years, which brought its cinema to the attention of the most renowned festivals on the cinema scene(Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto). In Abu Dhabi she co-founded Sanad, a support fund for Arab films in a broad sense, meaning films produced by the diaspora, or else works relevant to Arab culture.
While pursuing her activity as a festival programmer (she collaborates with Venice’s Days of Authors, El Gouna Film Festival and Busan Film Festival), Teresa Cavina is still committed to dedicating more space to the direct collaboration with the authors, an approach she started back to the times of New Cinema Network. She is a permanent member of the jury Premiosolinas Stories for Cinema, reader for Doha Film Institute Grants, tutor for Qumra, Doha, Open Doors Locarno and Sarajevo Talents Script Platform.