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 moving into 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 attend Stanford’s MFA in Documentary Film and Video.

Her films have screened at festivals in Australia (Antenna, Perth Revelation, St Kilda) and the US (Big Sky, Telluride Mountainfilm, among others) and her work has received generous support from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Union Docs, American-Australian Association and 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.



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



Environmental Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia (Ignis)


Mountainfilm Telluride, Colorado, USA  (Ignis)
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Missoula, Montana, USA (Ignis)
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, California, USA (Ignis)
Red Rock Film Festival, Utah, USA (Ignis)
Walla Walla Movie Crush, Washington, USA (Ignis)
Virgin Inflight Entertainment, AFTRS Showcase, Australia (Pat’s Studio)


“Projections: A Selection of Short Films by MFA Documentary Film students”, 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)
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, California, USA (Pat’s Studio)
Fine Art Film Festival, Venice Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA (Pat’s Studio)
United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF), Stanford, California, USA (Ignis)


The Other Art Fair, Sydney, Australia (Pat’s Studio)
St Kilda Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia (Pat’s Studio)
Revelation Perth International Film Festival, Perth, Australia (Pat’s Studio)


Antenna Documentary Film Festival, Sydney, Australia (Pat’s Studio)



‘Dance and Film: an Intersection’, a workshop exploring Zoom as cinematic apparatus, facilitated with Professors Jamie Meltzer and Aleta Hayes, Stanford University, California, USA


Lecture on visual storytelling for ‘Thinking Matters’ at the invitation of Professors Adam Johnson and Blakey Vermeule, Stanford University, California, USA

Using Format