Ashley York is a director and producer who is interested in documentaries, cinematic journalism, and media for social change and justice. She has worked on Academy Award® winning teams and as a producer on projects that have premiered at the Sundance, Berlin, and SXSW film festivals as well as on Netflix, HBO, National Geographic, Oprah Winfrey’s Network, A&E, IFC, Discovery, and the
She co-directed and produced the Netflix Original Documentary Tig, an Official Selection of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam, the Istanbul Independent Documentary Festival, and Outfest. Her most recent film won the Best Documentary Award at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Festival and a Founders Award at the Traverse City Film Festival. Ashley was one of nine women debuting a feature film at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was featured in Variety as a filmmaker to watch.
Ashley is committed to a feminist approach and intrigued by work that intersects the emotional and ideological. She is inspired greatly by the works of bell hooks, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, the late Aimé J. Ellis, and Silas House.
She has collaborated with award-winning documentary filmmakers, including Rashida Jones, Amy Ziering, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Judith Helfand, Billy Luther, and Kirby Dick. She worked as a field director on the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On and produced two 2011 Sundance Film Festival Official selections: Becoming Chaz, about Chaz Bono’s gender transition; and GRAB, about the Laguna Pueblo tribe in New Mexico. She is a frequent panelist and artist in residence for Women in Film, SXSW Interactive,the International Documentary Association, and MASS MoCA.
She is a member of Film Fatales, Women in Film, the International Documentary Association, Film Independent, the Appalachian Studies Association, and a founding member of the Los Angeles-based design collective, Take Action Games, which has been recognized for its commitment to highlighting issues that affect women and girls and partnered with various social justice and mission-based organizations in the making of digital activist projects, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the International Crisis Group, the Independent Television Service, and the Center for Asian American Media. Take Action Games received an Emmy Award nomination in the category of New Approaches to News and Documentary Film as well as the prestigious Governors' Award from the Academy of Arts & Sciences (the Emmy's highest honor) in recognition of a campaign co-produced by mtvU to raise awareness about the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan.
Ashley was born in Kentucky and attended the University of Kentucky where she received a BA in journalism. She received her MFA from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts where she teaches in the Division of Media Arts + Practice.
Ashley lives in Los Angeles.