Ashleigh McArthur is a filmmaker and former diplomat from Sydney, Australia. After studying journalism and art history, she spent eight years living and working in Solomon Islands, Mexico and New York with the Australian foreign service before turning to documentary film.

She attended the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and worked as a story consultant with acclaimed Australian director, Jen Peedom (Sherpa, Mountain), before receiving a fellowship to undertake Stanford’s MFA in Documentary Film and Video.

Her films have been exhibited at festivals and museums in Australia and the US, and her work has received generous support from Screen Australia, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Union Docs, the American-Australian Association and the University Film and Video Association (UFVA), from whom she received the Carol Fielding Grant for her thesis project, Framing Mother, in 2020.

Ashleigh holds a B.A. from The University of Sydney and an M.F.A. in Documentary Film from Stanford University.

She is currently based in San Francisco.



Screen Australia Enterprise Grant, 2022
Vice Provost's Graduate Teaching Fellowship, Stanford University, 2020
Carol Fielding Grant, University Film and Video Association (UFVA), 2020
Stanford Diversity and Inclusion Fund Grant, 2020
Telluride Student Symposium Fellowship, 2019
American-Australian Association Arts Award, 2019
Ian Potter Cultural Trust Travelling Scholarship, 2018


Aeon Video, Streaming - The First Tuesday in November
Mountainfilm Telluride, Colorado - Look at the Fish (05/22)
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Montana - Look at the Fish (02/22)
Argo Shorts Competition, Streaming - Look at the Fish (04/21)
BAMMS, Roxie Theatre, San Francisco - Look at the Fish (10/21)
Environmental Film Festival Australia - Ignis (10/20)
Mountainfilm Telluride, Colorado - Ignis (05/20)
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Montana - Ignis (02/20)
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, California - Ignis (03/20)
Red Rock Film Festival, Utah - Ignis (11/20)
Walla Walla Movie Crush, Washington - Ignis (07/20)
Virgin Inflight Entertainment, Australia - Pat’s Studio (2020)
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, California - Pat’s Studio (03/19)
Fine Art Film Festival, Venice Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA - Pat’s Studio  (05/19)
United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF), California - Ignis (10/19)
The Other Art Fair, Sydney - Pat’s Studio (12/18)
St Kilda Film Festival, Melbourne - Pat’s Studio 06/18)
Revelation Perth International Film Festival - Pat’s Studio (07/18)
Antenna Documentary Film Festival, Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) - Pat’s Studio  (10/17)


“Projections: A Selection of Short Films”, Coulter Gallery, Stanford University, California USA (Look at the Fish, group show, Oct 2019)

“From the Fire: A community Reflects and Rebuilds”, Art Museum of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, USA (Ignis, group show, Jan 2019)


Dance and Film: An Intersection: a workshop exploring dynamic movement in front of the lens and in the body of the cinematographer. Co-created and taught with Professors Jamie Meltzer and Aleta Hayes, Stanford University, California, USA (2021)

Masterclass on Experimental Documentary at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, Australia (2021)

Zoom As Cinematic Apparatus: an online workshop exploring the intersection of dance and film in confined spaces. Co-created and taught with Professors Jamie Meltzer and Aleta Hayes, Stanford University, California, USA (2020)

Lecturer on visual storytelling for "Thinking Matters," at the invitation of Professors Adam Johnson and Blakey Vermeule, Stanford University, California, USA (2019)

Using Format