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Ashley Blair York, M.F.A.

Adjunct Associate Professor

Affiliated Divisions:

All Departments
Media Arts + Practice Division

Work Phone: 213.821.5700
Office: SCI 101H

Ashley York is a content creator who is interested in digital storytelling, cinematic journalism, and media for social change and justice. She has worked on Academy Award® winning teams and directed and produced projects that have premiered and won top honors at the Sundance, Berlin, LA, and SXSW film festivals and broadcast on Netflix, Apple, Oprah Winfrey’s Network, the Sundance Channel, A&E, IFC, Discovery, National Geographic, and HBO. She recently produced "Dear ... " a documentary series for Apple's new streaming platform. Her most recent film, "Hillbilly" broadcast on Hulu; won the Grand Jury Documentary Prize at the 2018 LA Film Festival and a Michael Moore Founders Award at the Traverse City Film Festival; and was an Official Selection of DOC NYC, Mountainfilm, the Nashville Film Festival, and the American Film Showcase.

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. 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. Her work has received funding support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.

She has collaborated with award-winning filmmakers, including Rashida Jones, Amy Ziering, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Judith Helfand, and Kirby Dick. She 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 was a panelist at the SXSW Interactive Festivals and Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival, a filmmaker in residence at the Working Film’s Content + Intent Institute at MASS MoCA, and an artist in residence at the Bay Area Video Coalition's Producer's Institute for New Media Technologies.

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' Interactive Media Division.