GRACE ROWE- Writer, Actress, and Producer
Born in New York and raised in southern California, Grace Rowe knew from the age of seven that she wanted to be an actor. After graduating from the Orange County High School for Performing Arts, she studied theater and film at UCLA where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts. Frustrated by the limited amount of strong parts for Asian American actresses, Grace decided to write and perform a one woman show entitled, THE GRID LIFE, about seven vastly different Asian American women struggling with identity issues. The Grid Life premiered at The Complex Theater in Hollywood which led to other performances at The HBO Workspace, The Women In Theater “Celebrate Women 2000 Festival”, and at the Davidson/Valentini Theater in the Ed Gould Plaza in association with The Edge of the World Theater Festival.
Hoping to reach a wider audience, Grace adapted the play into a feature-length screenplay, entitled AMERICAN SEOUL. In addition to being one of the screenplays chosen for the 2002 IFP/West (now known as FIND or Film INDependent) Screenwriter’s and Producer’s Lab, American Seoul won the Best Screenplay Award for the 2002 Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) in New York City, where a staged reading of the script was performed. American Seoul was also one of four finalists in the CAPE (Coalition of Asian-Pacifics in Entertainment) 2001 and 2002 Screenplay Contest hosted by FOX Entertainment, and was first runner-up for the 2002 Cynosure Screenplay Contest.
In 2003, Grace produced and acted in the short film version of American Seoul. Although it was created primarily to show potential investors what the feature film would look like, American Seoul has been invited to over two dozen film festivals worldwide. The short film was also chosen to screen at MTV’s TRL Studios Filmmakers’ Reception for the Asian American Film Festival in NYC, and just finished a worldwide tour with AAIFF and continues to screen at film festivals around the world. During this time, Grace was also nominated by FIND Film (formerly known as the IFP/West or Independent Feature Project Organization) as “Independent Film Producer to Watch” for the Independent Filmmaker Magazine.
After being given the opportunity to pitch to producer Janet Yang, (The Joy Luck Club, The People vs. Larry Flint, The Weight of Water), Ms. Yang signed on to act as executive producer of American Seoul. Yet after several years of unsuccessfully trying to find financing for the film, Grace decided to take her career once again into her own hands by writing an ultra-low budget feature film called I AM THAT GIRL. Inspired by true events from a few of her friends' stories, Grace wrote the script with the idea that she would self-finance the feature by using all the resources she had available. When her mother told her after her sister's wedding that she had money saved for when she wanted to get married, Grace asked her mother if she could use that money towards making her movie instead. With those jump-start funds and donations from friends and family through the help of the San Diego Asian Film Foundation, I AM THAT GIRL started production in late 2006.
From pre-production to post, Grace wore numerous hats on the set and off. Because of the nature of their ultra-low budget project, Grace embraced wholly the notion of D.I.Y. film-making. From casting, hiring the crew, craft service, contracts, costumes, set design, location scouting, make-up, buying the camera, renting the equipment, learning about lights, to learning how to edit, building the sound, building the website, making the poster/dvd cover, to color correction and making the final mix herself and so on- Grace learned more about film-making in the past two years than she did in the past ten. Her hands-on experience made her discover how much she enjoyed the process of film-making, and not just being an actor or writer.
I Am That Girl has played at numerous film festivals including the San Diego Asian Film Festival, The DisOrient Asian American Film Festival, The L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival (where the film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature Film), and The Yosemite International Film Festival, where Grace received the Best Actress Award for her performance in the film. You can watch the trailer and buy the movie online at www.iamthatgirlmovie.com. I Am That Girl is currently repped by All Channel Films for domestic distribution.
Currently, Grace is working on several new feature length screenplays and a television series she hopes to sell and also produce. She is also a lifetime member of the prestigious Actors Studio and continues to practice her craft both at the studio and also professionally. Some recent acting television credits include Grey's Anatomy, House, and According to Jim. You can also read her daily blog at www.amasiangrace.net.
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