Oscar Actors: Moreno, Catalina Sandino

Catalina Sandino Moreno plays Sylvia, a Mexican immigrant, working in the food industry in the U.S., in Richard Linklater’s fact-based drama, “Fast Food Nation.”

Catalina Sandino Moreno made her screen debut as the title character in the critically acclaimed film “Maria Full of Grace.” 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 won the Grand Special Prize at the 2004 Deauville Film Festival.

Moreno has earned additional 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 recently named ShoWests International Star of the Year for 2005.

Born in Bogot, Colombia, Moreno became interested in theatre and stage at an early age. While still in high school, she enrolled in the Ruben Di Pietro theatre academy in Bogot, where 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” Moreno relocated to New York City, where she attended The Lee Strasberg Institute. She recently made her New York stage debut in the Frog & Peach Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s “King John.”

Morenos latest project is “Journey to the End of the Night,” also starring Brendan Fraser, Mos Def and Scott Glenn, filmed in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Scheduled for release in 2007, “Journey” was written and directed by Eric Eason.