|Born||in New York, New York, USA|
|Birth Name||Vanessa Juli Parise|
Mini Bio (3)
Vanessa Parise is a director, actor, and writer. Named one of "Ten Female Directors Breaking Stereotypes" by SheKnows, Vanessa grew up one of five children in a large, extended, Italian-Columbian-Jewish family, which inspired Kiss the Bride (2002).
Parise graduated from Harvard magna cum laude in Biology, and was accepted to Harvard Medical School. Instead, she attended a summer program at Circle in the Square in New York City and was invited to enter their two-year theatre program. She took a deferment from HMS and has never looked back.
While at Circle, Parise dove into the Off-Broadway theatre scene, earning honors in the New York Times for her performance of Sarah in "Seascape"). Upon graduating, she headed to Hollywood without any ties or connections, where she wrote, directed, produced and starred in Lo and Jo (1998), a short film which won various awards and accolades. Kiss The Bride was her first feature as director/actor/producer/writer. The film won Best Actress for Parise at Cinequest, Best Feature Film for Parise as writer/producer/director at the Hamptons, Sarasota, and Rhode Island, Best Actress (Talia Shire) and Best Score (Jeremy Parise) at Monte Carlo,, Best Actress (Francis Bay) at Torino, and the list goes on.
Most recently, Parise directed Tim Kring's one-hour supernatural drama Beyond for Freeform. She also directed the high-profile Simone Biles biopic, which just premiered to extremely strong ratings on Lifetime and NBC. Parise has directed multiple episodes of Just Add Magic for Amazon and multiples of MC2 for Netflix. She also directed the edgy, highly-acclaimed television movie Perfect High (Bella Thorne), thrillers #Popfan (Chelsea Kane) and Status Unknown, and the comedic Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story.
Parise was selected for the inaugural year of Fox's prestigious Global Diversity Initiative. She received a 2016 Leo Nomination for Best Direction of Perfect High and a 2015 Leo Nomination for Best Direction of #Popfan. She was honored by Lifetime with their Broad Focus Top 5 Original Movies.
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Born in NYC and raised in coastal Rhode Island, Parise graduated from Harvard University with a major in Biology and a self-proclaimed minor in writing, directing, and acting in student productions. Her pursuit of a medical degree at Harvard Medical School ended when she secured financing for her first original screenplay, Kiss The Bride, which she also produced and directed. The feature film, starring Alyssa Milano, Sean Patrick Flannery, Talia Shire, and Parise, was sold to MGM and enjoyed a theatrical release before airing on Showtime, Lifetime, Starz and the CW, and was named Best Feature at The Hamptons and Sarasota and Best Actress (Parise) at Cinequest Film Festivals. Parise followed this with her feature Jack and Jill vs the World, a love story for cynics, which she co-wrote, produced and directed. Along with Parise, that film stars Freddie Prinze, Jr., Taryn Manning, Robert Forster, and Kelly Rowen.
Parise recently entered the television world, where she sold a spec pilot to ABCF, and a pitch to ABCS. She directed the presentation pilot, Shape, which she also co-wrote and exec produced, starring Johnathan Schaech and Amanda Detmer, and the movie The Wedding Chapel, starring Shelley Long and Mark Deklin. Parise also directed the television movie Home for Christmas and has wrapped production on the Lifetime thriller Facebook Detectives. Parise wrote the finale episode of Hallmark's new series, When Calls the Heart.
Parise is a dual citizen of the US and Canada.
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A fresh young voice, Parise graduated Harvard Magna Cum Laude and turned down Harvard Medical School to venture into the business as actor/writer/director of the studio feature MGM's Kiss The Bride, which she also produced. The feature film, starring Alyssa Milano and Parise, enjoyed a successful theatrical run before becoming a hit on Showtime, Lifetime, Starz and now the CW. Parise followed this with her feature Jack and Jill vs The World, a love story for cynics, which she co-wrote, produced and directed. Along with Parise, that film stars Taryn Manning. A Circle in the Square and Second City alum with a propensity for performance and camera, Vanessa recently directed an episode of Amazon's new series Just Add Magic. She directed The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story and the edgy Perfect High (Bella Thorne). Her television credits also include thrillers #Popfan (Chelsea Kane) and Status Unknown as well as comedies The Wedding Chapel and Home For Christmas. As a writer last season, Vanessa sold a pilot script to ABCF, set up a pitch with Courtney Cox at ABCS, and wrote a freelance episode of Hallmark's When Calls the Heart. Vanessa was honored by Lifetime's Broad Focus Top 5 Original Movies 2015. She was nominated for a 2015 Leo Award for Best Direction for #Popfan. She was also honored by SheKnows as one of Ten Female Directors Breaking Stereotypes 2014. Vanessa's films have played at SxSW (win), The Hamptons (win), Cinequest (win), Montecarlo (win), New England (win), Rhode Island (win), Sarasota (win), Aspen Comedy, Boston, Breckenridge, Newport (win), Rome, and Torino (win). Parise is a dual citizen of the US and Canada.
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