Hey there, I’m Jesse Santoyo, I’m a Mexican American Film Director and Actor working and living in Nashville, TN.
I am a Mexican American filmmaker, actor and singer-songwriter. I was born and raised in Chicago, but now calls Nashville TN home. I am is a single father to three amazing boys. My love for filmmaking began as a child. "My Pop's was the greatest storyteller I knew, I have some big shoes to fill."
I am an actor for TV and film in the Southeast region. I pretty much got tired of the fact that majority of the roles I was going out for were typecast roles for a latino male. Roles such as the gang member, the drug dealer, the murderer, the inmate, the immigrant and so on. The industry is changing, but until it takes a full turn, I decided to make my own breaks, movies and create a more positive role for myself as a writer, actor and director.
It was during a masters program in film school, and the passing of my beloved father and mother that I decided to not pursue the degree, but finally write my first short film, which would be, "The Star of Elia." I wrote multiple drafts before bringing it to my writing partner to help solidify the vision. Not too long after writing the final draft, pre-production began. Looking back on it now, it was a bit too ambitious for a first short film at the time. With a zero budget, me and some of his closest friends began filming in 2017 for a whole year. The stars aligned, locations fell from the sky, multiple resources to help it move along knocked on their door. After a whole year of production, spread across months, weeks and days, the whole movie was lost to a corrupt hard drive. After a few weeks of heartbreak and discouragement, I regrouped with the creative tribe, the cast and filming began from the beginning once again. Not a bad way to begin my first film endeavor as a write and director.
May 30, 2019, the first cut of "The Star of Elia" was completed. This film is a true labor of love, sweat, blood and tears. A true testament of persistence.
In between production of The Star of Elia, we also filmed two other short films which we are very proud of, "TheSpace between" and "Sacramento's Moon."
We are currently writing what will be my first all spanish full feature film. Stay tuned for more!