Tamara Benitez (also Mara Benitez) (born 14 October 1983) is a Filipina cinematographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. She is noted in particular for her underwater photography. Tamara has worked with such directors as Lav Diaz, Wenn Deramas, Sig Sanchez, Paolo Herras, and Martin Aviles. She is one of few female cinematographers working in the cinema of the Philippines and she continues to work on various projects above and below the water, spanning the different genres of production.
Tamara Isabel Escudero Benitez was born on 14 October 1983 in San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines. She is the daughter of a well-known underwater cinematographer. She studied Cinematography at the Mowelfund Film Institute in 2003, where she was taught how to use a film camera by Larry Manda. She made the film Ang Anak ni Brocka (2005 - 161 minutes) as a Berlinale Talent Campus project. It explores the life of Filipino director Lino Brocka.
Since then she has worked as camera or cinematographer on many film projects. She played a minor role as an American backpacker in the major hit Minsan Pa (2004), as well as being 2nd camera, shooting underwater scenes. Liz Braun of the Toronto Sun said of this movie "Minsan Pa is beautiful to look at, and not just for the cinematography." Another said, "The camera plays an integral and integrative role in the film Minsan Pa." Benitez was a cinematographer on the epic nine-hour 2006 film Heremias. A reviewer said "I love this Malay time-inflected film! It is a joy to see such laid-back film with lots of extended takes." However, another said, "The movie, done in black and white, is painfuly slow such that sometimes its a struggle to keep awake." However, the reviewer was impressed by Tamara Benitez, calling her "so young and so talented".
- 2004 Now That I have You (2nd Gaffer)
- 2004 Minsan Pa (2nd Camera Operator)
- 2005 Ang Anak ni Brocka (Director of Photography)
- 2006 Heremias (Director of Photography)
- 2006 Lambanog (Director of Photography) 
- 2006 Wag Kang Lilingon (Camera Operator)
- 2007 Ang Cute Ng Ina Mo! (Camera Operator)
- 2007 Four in One (Camera Operator)
- 2007 Pasukob (Second Unit Cinematographer/2nd Camera Operator)
- 2008 My Big Love (Camera Operator)
- 2008 Ikaw Pa Rin, Bongga Ka Boy! (Camera Operator)
- 2008 And Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat (Second Unit Cinematographer/2nd Camera Operator)
- 2009 69 1/2 (Camera Operator)
- 2009 Bente (Second Unit Cinematographer)
- 2010 Two Funerals (2nd Camera Operator)
- 2009 Laf and Roll Pranks (Director of Photography)
- 2010 Channel [v] Encore (Lighting Director)
- 2011 Where's Tony Season 1 (Director of Photography)
- 2011 Survivor India Season 1 (Underwater Camera Assistant)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Tamara Benitez at the Internet Movie Database
- ↑ Alexis A. Tioseco. A River Runs Through It: Reflections on a Shot in Lav Diaz’s Heremias. Kino. Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
- ↑ About Tamara. Tamara Benitez. Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
- ↑ Ang Anak Ni Brocka. Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
- ↑ LIZ BRAUN (May 6, 2005). 'Minsan Pa' too long of a romance. Toronto Sun. Retrieved on 2012-06-07.
- ↑ Eloi Hernandez (OCTOBER 20, 2009). Minsan Pa by Jeffrey Jeturian (2004). Retrieved on 2012-06-07.
- ↑ Heremias at the Internet Movie Database
- ↑ Heremias [Unang Aklat: Ang Alamat Ng Prinsesang Bayawak (2006, Lav Diaz)] (FEBRUARY 9, 2010). Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
- ↑ I survived Lav Diaz’s Heremias (2006). Rough Groove (November 16th, 2006). Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
- ↑ Jocelyn Dimaculangan. "Lambanog" screens at IndieSine, September 10-16. Cerphin. Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
- ↑ Paolo Herras. Whiskey di cocco / Coconut Whiskey. AsiaticaFilmMediale. Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
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