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Salvadoran-American filmmaker

Profession: Filmmaker



River Gallo is a Salvadoran-American filmmaker, actor, model, and intersex rights activist. They wrote, directed, and acted in the 2019 short film Ponyboi, which is the first film to feature an openly intersex actor playing an intersex person.


Gallo left New Jersey to study acting at New York University, where they trained in the Experimental Theatre Wing at the Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating with a bachelor's degree, they attended the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts and earned their master's degree.

Gallo created the short film Ponyboi as their master's thesis while at USC. The film is about an intersex Latine runaway in New Jersey who works in the day at a laundromat and at night as a sex worker. On Valentine's Day, Ponyboi meets and falls in love with a man and begins to overcome his traumatic past. While writing the film, Gallo discovered the term "intersex" and came to realize it described them. Gallo co-directed the film along with their USC classmate Sadé Clacken Joseph. The film is produced by executive producer Stephen Fry and co-producers Emma Thompson and Seven Graham. The film has been screened at festivals including the BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.

Gallo is the founder and CEO of the Gaptoof Entertainment production company.

In 2019, Gallo won the GLAAD Rising Star Grant, which they have said they intend to use to mentor LGBTQIA+ students in Los Angeles public schools. They were also named in Out's "Most Exciting Queers to Follow on Instagram in 2019" list and Paper's "100 People Taking Over 2019" list.

In 2020, Gallo performed in an episode of the Hulu original teen drama series Love, Victor, which is a spinoff of the 2018 film Love, Simon. Gallo appears in episode 8, "Boys' Trip", as the character Kim, who is one of Simon's several LGBT roommates.

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