Helena Cortesina, a Valencian with a universal vocation and exceptional multifaceted artistic qualities, had a fascinating life and professional career. She was a dancer, singer, film and theater actress, film producer and director, theater entrepreneur, Sorolla's model, and a performer of Lorca's works. She was also a republican militant and an exile.

Helena is the first female film producer and director in our country. She started her career in dance at the age of thirteen, starred in her first film, and established her own film production company at the age of seventeen. In the spring-summer of 1921, at just eighteen years old, she produced, directed, and starred in her first and only film as a filmmaker, "Flor de España." Her cinematic adventure did not continue, but it was decisive in her artistic career because it served as the professional stepping stone she needed to join renowned theater companies, dedicating herself primarily to the theater thereafter.

Professionally and creatively ambitious, audacious and determined, Cortesina was a complete artist who took control of her career and imposed her personality and artistic ambitions in a predominantly male world. She was a liberated woman and exceptionally independent for her time, with strong republican convictions about women's rights, freedom, and equality. Her professional journey is the best testament to her ability to reinvent herself as an artist and successfully steer her career to achieve her professional goals despite the challenges of fate.

To commemorate the centenary of the official premiere of "Flor de España," Mostra de València-Cinema del Mediterrani wanted to celebrate the figure of this Valencian pioneer in its 38th edition. She was one of our most prominent artists of the early 20th century, yet relatively unknown. Alongside the publication of the first monographic study on her, which particularly highlights her pioneering role in the history of Spanish cinema, this exhibition illustrates the multiple facets of her life and extraordinary professional career.

  • Tuesday to Saturday, from 16.00 to 19:00 h
  • Sundays and holidays, from 10:00 to 14:00 h
  • Closed on Mondays

Free admission