If you thought the world was quirky enough in 1992, things got a lot quirkier when Olivia Grace Pearson was born. Born in September of 1992 in Chicago, IL, Pearson demonstrated curiosity and creativity early on (ask her parents what happened to the VHS copy of Disney’s Beauty & the Beast). Art has always been a huge passion of hers, ranging from recreating Rugrats characters to designing clothes for Barbie dolls. Despite watching movies throughout her childhood, cinema was not necessarily her passion. It was not until age 13 when Pearson saw the movie adaptation of RENT and declared to her mother she wanted to pursue filmmaking.

Fascinated with film directing and screenwriting, she enrolled at Jones College Prep and studied theatre arts, which provided a solid foundation for acting and directing. Pearson also enrolled in high school programs at Columbia College, the Goodman Theatre, and After School Matters to develop filmmaking skills. She honed in her craft while studying Film at Howard University, where she produced promotional videos for student organizations and private clients, as well as short films; attended the Cannes International Film Festival; interned at Meet the Press and the Smithsonian Institution; and served as an executive board member for the University’s film organization.

After graduating in 2015, Pearson interned at the American Film Market for Annapurna International (the sales division of Annapurna Pictures) and Lincoln Square Productions (an ABC News production company). Still curious about life and passionate about storytelling, Pearson’s mission is to create films that celebrate diverse identities within the African Diaspora. Currently, Pearson is writing short screenplays to submit to screenwriting competitions, as well as completing her documentary on black women and state violence.