Award winning director/writer P.J. Pesce was born and raised in Miami, Florida. After completing an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Architecture at Columbia University, he entered the Graduate Film School and studied directing under Martin Scorsese (from whom he received honors) and Brian DePalma (from whom he received an "F"). He received a Special Grand Jury Award for his short film The Afterlife of Grandpa at the Houston Int’l Film Festival (past winners have included Steven Spielberg and David Lynch), and Young Filmmaker of the Year from the Edinburgh Film Festival. He received Grey Advertising's Student Filmmaker Award and a Presidential Fellowship from Columbia University's School of the Arts.
He was named Best Independent Director at The Hamptons International Film Festival for his critically acclaimed film The Desperate Trail, which he wrote and directed. Entertainment Weekly called it “The best Western on any size screen since Unforgiven,” and Tom Shales of The Washington Post called it a “A new high point in the cable movie.”
After a long search, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez tapped Pesce to direct the prequel to their surprise cult hit From Dusk Til Dawn. It was voted one of the Top Ten Best Direct To Video Titles Of All Time.
In 2010 he was awarded a Dora Maar Fellowship for outstanding midcareer professionals by the Brown Foundation and the Houston Museum of Fine Art in order to work on his script HEART ON FIRE: GRAM PARSONS; earlier his script Beautiful Asian Brides Want to Meet You sold for a record breaking 2 million dollars. It is being produced by Brian Grazer at Imagine Films.
Pesce has written for Universal, Warners, MTV, Working Title, and John Woo’s Lion Rock Productions. He has directed extensively for CBS, NBC, ABC, HBO, and The WB. He created the animated cult show The Adventures Of Chico and Guapo for MTV, for which he also provided the voices of several characters. He recently sold a pilot to ABC television about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn after the American Civil War, and a feature film script to Extraordinary Entertainment that will begin filming in May.