Liwanag: Shedding Light on Superstore’s Mateo and Filipinx-American Portrayals on TV

Celebrate Filipino American History Month with a spotlight on some of the creative forces behind NBC’s hit comedy series, SUPERSTORE.  Join actor Nico Santos (“Mateo Liwanag”), Co-Executive Producer Rene Gube and Guest Director Heather Jack for a candid conversation on Filipino portrayals on TV and Asian American culture in media.  Sibley Scoles, Access Hollywood Co-Host, will moderate the discussion.

(*Liwanag means “light” in Tagalog)

About Nico Santos:

Nico Santos stars as Mateo, the quick witted, sharp tongued assistant to Cloud 9 store 1217’s manager, in NBC’s hit comedy “Superstore.”

For his portrayal of Mateo, Santos was nominated for back-to-back Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2019 & 2020), and he will next be seen in the series’ upcoming sixth season.

Santos also starred in Warner Brother’s SAG and Golden Globe-nominated “Crazy Rich Asians” alongside an all-Asian cast including Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Ken Jeong. The film instantly became a cultural phenomenon, as well the highest-grossing romantic comedy in the past decade. Additionally, Santos made his Off-Broadway debut in the summer of 2018 in Jesse Eisenberg’s “Happy Talk” with Susan Sarandon and Marin Ireland.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Santos assimilated to American culture rather quickly by living in California by way of Portland, Ore. He started doing stand-up comedy in San Francisco, and in just a short amount of time had become a popular fixture in the Bay Area comedy scene with his acute observations and quirky characters.

Previously, Santos has written for E! Network’s “Fashion Police” and appeared on screen in Showtime’s “Pride Comedy Jam” as well as the series “Ground Floor,” “Mulaney” and “2 Broke Girls.” In 2015, he made his film debut in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” and in 2017 was seen in “The Clapper,” co-starring Ed Helms, Tracy Morgan and Amanda Seyfried. He was also a regular panelist on “Chelsea Lately.”

About Rene Gube:

Rene Gube is a writer/actor currently staffed on SUPERSTORE as a Co-Executive Producer. Before joining the NBC comedy, he wrote on all four seasons of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning musical comedy CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (CW), where he recurred on screen as chill priest Father Brah. Rene had the honor and joy of writing the first Filipino family depicted on network television when he penned episode 106 of CXG entitled “My First Thanksgiving with Josh!” His mom really loved how good the dinuguan looked on TV. Other writing credits include BROCKMIRE (IFC), UP ALL NIGHT (NBC), and GROUND FLOOR (TBS) where he also appeared on screen as series regular Threepeat. Rene is extremely allergic to cats, but he loves his daughter and wife so much that he’ll probably end up with one, I guess. It’s fine.

About Heather Jack: 

Heather Jack is a director, writer, and producer focused on comedy. Selected as part of the inaugural class of NBC’s Female Forward initiative, Heather directed an episode of the show Superstore, and was asked back to direct additional episodes the following two seasons. She also directed episodes for NBC’s comedy Sunnyside, starring Kal Penn, as well as The Babysitter’s Club for Netflix.

Heather’s short film, Let’s Not Panic, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and continued its run at numerous festivals before debuting online as a Vimeo Staff Pick, Short of the Week, and screening on United Airlines. Heather also draws from her narrative background to create fun branded and digital content, working with clients including MTV, Vice, Comedy Central, VH1, IFC, Subway, CollegeHumor, L’Oreal, Vita Coco, and the I Love New York tourism campaign. Along with collaborator Charles Rogers (Search Party), she co-created the branded web series Tech Up, which was showcased at SXSW and earned over 1 million online views. Heather also directed a PSA for Lean In along with Funny or Die and Hulu, which was viewed over 5 million times, screened on Virgin America seatbacks, and shared online by Serena Williams, Emma Watson, and Amy Schumer.

Heather started her career in feature development at MGM and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. She received both her MBA and MFA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and Tisch Graduate Film Program. Originally from Northern California, Heather is currently based in Los Angeles.

Dates & Times
CAAMFest Site

Sat, Oct 17
12:00 pm

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