Today's Birthday 23/5

Elise Donaldson
Today's birthday, May 23: Australian filmmaker and actress Gracie Otto (1987 - )

Today's birthday, May 23: Australian filmmaker and actress Gracie Otto (1987 - )

Gracie Otto is related to two well-known Australian actors but unlike them most of her success has been on the other side of the camera.

The young filmmaker has over ten years of experience in the industry and her films have achieved international recognition.

Otto was born in 1987 in Sydney. Her father is the legendary stage and film actor Barry Otto and her half-sister is Lord of the Rings actress Miranda Otto.

She attended Burwood Girls High School in Sydney. As a schoolgirl she represented Australia in futsal and New South Wales in the Australian Softball Championships.

After school, Otto worked as a model and actress before deciding to pursue a career in filmmaking.

She studied at the prestigious Sydney Film School and made several short films, including the award-winning Kill Blondes in 2004 and Tango Trois in 2006. Many of her early films were screened internationally and were favoured by critics.

Otto graduated from the film school in 2006 and spent the following year living in Paris.

She continued creating short films and acting in several Australia features, including the lead role of Emma in 2008's Three Blind Mice.

Otto made her feature-length directing debut with the acclaimed 2014 documentary, The Last Impresario. The film celebrates the life of British producer and playboy Michael White and features interviews with 60 of his close friends and associates.

The documentary premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in late 2013 and was nominated for Best Feature Documentary at the 2015 AACTA Awards.

In 2016 Otto worked as associate producer on the BBC/Showtime feature documentary, Can I Be Me, focusing on the life of Whitney Houston. She also directed a short documentary with Sean Penn titled Who is Pappy Pariah.

In recent years she has worked on a range of fashion films, music videos and commercials.

Otto has a number of film projects in development through her own company Ralf Films as well as Dollhouse Pictures, which she formed with actress Rose Byrne and other female artists.