Janet Grillo is an Emmy Award winning producer, an Award winning writer and director, and a former Studio Executive.
Fly Away marks Janet’s debut as a feature filmmaker. The script for it won the Best International Screenplay Award at the Swansea Bay Film Festival in Wales, in 2010. Her short film, Flying Lessons, starring Dana Delany, (Desperate Housewives, Castle, China Beach) premiered at the prestigious Palm Springs International Film Festival in August of 2008, to good reviews. It was programmed by many prominent festivals in US and Canada, including the Atlanta, LA Short, Rhode Island and San Luis Obispo International Film Festivals. It won the Silver Lei Award for Excellence in Filmmaking at the Honolulu International Film Festival, the Best Dramatic Short at First Look Festival, LA and Best Performance at WILD sound Short Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.
As a producer, Janet received the Emmy Award for the HBO documentary Autism:The Musical, with Bunim Murray Productions, which premiered on Prior to her career as an independent producer, Janet worked at New Line Cinema for ten years, rising through the ranks to become the Senior Vice President of Production, East Coast. During this time she established an outstanding track record initiating the careers of emerging filmmakers. She launched the career of filmmaker Reggie Hudlin with his feature debut, House Party. The film received the coveted Audience Award at Sundance, and went on to become a cult classic, grossing $25 million in North American theatrical revenues on a budget of $1.5 million. Janet then executive produced its two financially successful sequels.
At New Line, Janet developed and executive produced Joseph B. Vasquez’s acclaimed feature Hangin’ with the Homeboys, starring John Leguizamo. It received the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance. She developed and associate produced Pump up the Volume, starring Christian Slater, as well as Ted Demme’s directorial debut, Who’s the Man. The same year, she developed and executive produced David O. Russell’s acclaimed feature debut, Spanking the Monkey. It won the Sundance Audience Award and launched his prestigious career.
After a decade at New Line, Janet left to produce independently. Since then she executive produced the critically acclaimed independent feature, Joe the King, which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Along with Ruth Charny (Grace of my Heart and Search and Destroy), Janet produced Searching for Paradise, which was developed by the Sundance Institute, and distributed on the Sundance Channel.
A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut, with an Honors in Theatre, Janet also trained at William Esper Acting Studio in New York City. While completing her MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, she served as Assistant Literary Manager for Circle Repertory Company, where she was also a member of their Playwright’s Workshop Lab. In addition, Janet was a finalist for the prestigious. Her plays have been publicly read at Playwrights Horizons, and by actors including Annette Bening, Patricia Arquette, Catherine O’Hara, Dana Delany, Bradley Whitford and Jane Kazmarek.
A frequent blogger for The Huffington Post, Janet is also an Autism Advocacy activist. She currently resides in Venice, California.
JANET GRILLO – Writer, Producer, Director