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 acting, writing & directing in student productions. She ended her pursuit of a medical degree at Harvard Med when she instead ventured into the business as actor/writer/director/producer on the studio feature MGM’s KISS THE BRIDE (Alyssa Milano), now in its tenth year as a hit on Showtime, Lifetime, Starz and the CW. Parise followed this with her feature JACK AND JILL VS THE WORLD (Taryn Manning), a love story for cynics. Vanessa most recently directed the back door pilot DRINK SLAY LOVE (Cierra Ramirez, EP Bella Thorne) based on the bestselling book. She is currently starring in the Netflix series PROJECT MC2. She has directed three episodes of the hit Amazon series JUST ADD MAGIC and the new Terri Minsky series ANDI MACK. She also directed thrillers #POPFAN (Chelsea Kane) and STATUS UNKNOWN and the comedic UNAUTHORIZED BEVERLY HILLS 90210 STORY and edgy PERFECT HIGH (Bella Thorne), earning huge numbers. As a writer, Vanessa has sold multiple spec features and last season, she sold a pilot script to Freeform, and set up a pitch with Courtney Cox at ABCS.
Vanessa earned a 2016 Leo Nomination for Best Direction for Perfect High and a 2015 Leo Nomination for Best Direction of #Popfan. She was honored by Lifetime with their Broad Focus 2015 Top 5 Original Movies and by SheKnows as one of Ten Female Directors Breaking Stereotypes 2015. NBC has called her movies “richly-textured and well-acted” in what they expect to be “a long line of hit movies for Parise.” Vanessa’s films have played at SxSW (win), 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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