past and present meanderings

Ashleigh McArthur is an Australian filmmaker based in Sydney and San Francisco. She holds an M.F.A. in Documentary Film from Stanford and was most recently co-producer and additional editor on Luke Lorentzen’s A Still Small Voice, which was shortlisted for a 2024 Academy Award and won the Directing Award: US Documentary at Sundance.

 As an editor and creative producer, she has worked with acclaimed independent production companies including Hedgehog Films (Midnight FamilySo Late So Soon) and BAFTA-nominee Jen Peedom’s Stranger Than Fiction Films (SherpaMountain). She has directed five short films of her own and in 2022 received Screen Australia's Enterprise People Grant in support of her career as an emerging filmmaker. She also enjoys teaching and facilitating workshops on documentary filmmaking. 

Her eclectic professional background, which includes almost a decade working as an Australian diplomat in Solomon Islands, Mexico and New York, informs an interdisciplinary and deeply collaborative filmmaking practice. She is particularly drawn to experimental and essayistic approaches to nonfiction storytelling. 

In addition to her M.F.A. Ashleigh holds a B.A. in Media and Art History from The University of Sydney and a graduate certificate in documentary film from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS). She speaks fluent Spanish.


Screen Australia Enterprise People 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 - 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 - 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