“You studied theatre arts, law, film/tv production, and religious studies? What is your focus?” I get those comments a lot. But when you see the types of stage, film, and episodic projects I choose to produce, you’ll see how they relate. My acting side draws me to character driven work. My legal and religious studies side draws me to projects that have an underlying moral dilemma. Favorite productions include Gattaca, The Matrix, Truman Show, Game of Thrones, LOST, Breaking Bad, and so much more. Thank you for visiting my website! Below is more of a wiki style bio.
Grace Santos is an American actor, attorney, director, and producer.
Grace is known for producing “Odessa” (an award winning post-apocalyptic drama starring herself and The Outsider’s Ricky Wayne),“Silk” (an award winning drama starring Oscar-nominee and Emmy-winner Shohreh Aghdashloo and directed by Catherine Dent), “Spun” (a comedy starring herself andwas awarded an Honorable Mention by the Producers Guild of America), “Bree Does Comedy” (a comedy web series starring Bree Olson), “Ripe N Bloody” aka “A Tricky Treat” (an award winning comedy horror by Patricia Chica), “Last Life” (a fantasy webseries by Elesha Barnette), and “Election Night” (an award winning comedy by Tessa Blake and starring Frasier’s Peri Gilpin, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival American Pavillion).
She founded the Asian Pacific American Scene Inc (APASI Productions), the first nonprofit production company in Florida whosepurpose is to promote American actors, artists, filmmakers, and theatre-makers that are of Asian descent and to bring awareness about Asian-American issues.Grace began in Hollywood as a creative Development Intern at Silver Pictures and as a Teaching Assistant at the UCLA TFT’s Professional Program in Producing and Program in Television Writing –the Showrunner Series.
As of 2016, Grace heads Business Affairs for the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), a festival co-founded by Academy Award winner Geena Davis and Hollywood Executive Trevor Drinkwater, a platform dedicated to increase the commercial value of female driven and diverse content and provides distribution offers through BFF partners AMC, Walmart, Starz, among others.Prior to that, Grace worked for four years for Image / RLJ Entertainment Inc as Director of Business and Legal Affairs, closing deals which got her name mentioned in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter several times. She has several feature film and episodic productions in development.
Early life and family
Grace was born in Paterson, New Jersey, then moved to Tampa, Florida at the age of nine. Her parents purchased a laundromat business there. After eight years, they sold the business, then her father worked the graveyard shift as a clerk in a gas station and her mother worked as an assistant to accountants. When her parents weren’t working, they spent their time planting Filipino-American Christian churches in different areas. Grace has one sister, Joy, who is a relationship counselor in Florida.
Grace was a professional dancer with the Philippine Performing Arts Company, touring internationally by the time she was in middle school. After Thespians in high school, Grace started performing in professional theatre and booking commercials such as the national T-Mobile campaign directed by Spike Lee. Her performance in Tony Award-winner Neil Labute’s “Reasons to Be Pretty” won Grace the Best Actress Award by arts publication Creative Loafing. But she learned that there weren’t a lot of roles with depth for her “type” – female Filipina-American. So she decided to also study law and tv/film production to help create more of those roles.
She studied Theatre Arts, Religious Studies, Law, and Production at the University of Miami, Flinders University of South Australia, and the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Grace is a single mom to a daughter. They currently live in Los Angeles and take martial arts classes together.
Awards & Press References
- Grace wins the audience award for Best Actress in arts publication Creative Loafing, for her performance in Tony award winner Neil Labute’s “Reasons to Be Pretty” (2011).
- Grace is awarded Stetson’s Officer of the Year Award, Pro Bono Award, Public Interest Award, Most Spirited Award.
- “Change to Spare” was awarded an Honorable Mention at the Producers Guild of America Weekend Competition (2012)
- “Spun” was awarded an Honorable Mention at the Producers Guild of America Weekend Competition (2013)
- “Geronimo” actress Hannah Swain won Best Actress at the 34th Annual Young Artist Awards for her role in “Geronimo” (2013)
- “Silk” won the Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking Award at the 14th Annual New Port Beach Film Festival (2013)
- “Silk” was a National Short Film Competition Finalist at the 43rd Annual USA Film Festival (2013)
- “Silk” won Best Student Short Film at Bend Film Festival (2013)
- “Silk” won Best Student Short Film at San Luis Obispo Festival (2014)
- “Election Night” was named Indiewire’s Project of the Day (2014)
- “Odessa” wins the Grand Jury Award for Best Short Film at the 11th Annual Gasparilla International Film Festival (2015)
- “Odessa” wins the Silver Remi Award for a Drama at the 48th Annual Worldfest (2015)
- “Odessa” wins Best Sci Fi Short Film at the 15th Annual Santa Fe Film Festival (2015)
- “Odessa” is an Official Selection of the following festivals: Gasparilla International Film Festival, Cannes Short Corner, Worldfest, Plaza Classic Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, Wasteland Film Festival, Louisville Festival of Film, Savannah Film Festival, Santa Fe Film Festival (2015)
- “Election Night” is an Official Selection of the Cannes American Pavillion for Emerging Filmmakers Showcase (2015)
- “Election Night” wins the Local Jury Award at the 45th Annual USA Film Festival (2015)
Grace mentioned in Variety for working on the US rights to “The Rewrite” starring Hugh Grant and Marissa Tomei (Grace’s legal side):
Grace mentioned in The Hollywood Reporter for working on the US rights to “The Rewrite” starring Hugh Grant and Marissa Tomei (Grace’s legal side):
Grace mentioned in Deadline Hollywood for working on the US and Canadian rights to “Bone Tomahawk” starring Kurt Russell (Grace’s legal side): http://deadline.com/2015/08/bone-tomahawk-deal-kurt-russell-rlj-entertainment-fantastic-fest-1201491458/
Grace mentioned in Deadline Hollywood for working on the US rights to “Pay The Ghost” starring Nicolas Cage (Grace’s legal side): http://deadline.com/2015/08/nicolas-cages-pay-the-ghost-rlj-entertainment-xlrator-mateo-for-august-release-1201493622/
Grace mentioned in Screen Daily for working on the US rights to “Misfire” starring Gary Daniels (Grace’s legal side):
Grace mentioned in Dread Central for Zombieworld (Grace’s legal side):
Grace mentioned in Indiewire for producing “Ripe N Bloody” for Women in Horror Month PSA (Grace’s producing side):
Grace mentioned in Indiewire for producing the Project of the Day “Election Night” starring Peri Gilpin (Grace’s producing side):
Film Reviews About “Odessa”, an award winning short film and a tv series pitch that Grace produced and starred in:
“Odessa Makes You Think and Feel.” – Richard Propes, The Independent Critic
Odessa “has a post apocalyptic beauty that can only be rivaled by films like THE ROVER, THE ROAD and of course the MAD MAX franchise.” “Not only do I want to see more of ODESSA I feel that this could be the type of show that could change our way of thought in the future.” – Travis Brown, Horror Movies Uncut
“This taut, gripping, short film horrified me more for its relevant, real-word authenticity …” – Damsals With Chainsaws
“Two very talented main actors take the lead and set the tone for one of the best short films I’ve seen in a while, both Ricky Wayne and Grace Santos work well together and are two fascinating actors to watch.” – The Scream Review
“Aside from its crisp production value, Odessa – a short film mind you – accomplished what the majority of today’s features lack: It made me think, feel, and most importantly, want to explore more of the world the filmmakers and actors created”, says Joe Belcastro of the Florida Film Critics Circle and the Southeastern Film Critics Association, a member of the Gasparilla International Film Festival 2015 Grand Jury.
Community and Causes
Some people call Grace a social activist and she has been awarded the Public Interest Award, Pro Bono Award, Organizational Officer of the Year, among other awards, for her work as an Election Protection volunteer, environmental clean-up groups, and strong stance for welfare programs.