Ashton Avila (she/her) is a Mexican American writer-director who grew up in Los Angeles, California and is a NALIP Emerging Creator alum. After falling in love with filmmaking as a child, she went on to study Film Media and Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Rhode Island. Soon after, she worked for NBC’s Access Hollywood where she realized her passion for directing was pulling her towards her career’s next big step, attending Chapman University where she received her MFA in directing.
Ashton shadowed Academy Award nominated writer-director David O. Russell on his most recent production AMSTERDAM after working as his Creative Associate during development of the film. She previously shadowed director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum on Sofia Carson's Come Back Home music video and director/former DGA President Martha Coolidge on an episode of TBS's Angie Tribeca. In addition, she has been mentored by some of Hollywood’s best including Academy Award winning writer David S. Ward, SNL writer Anne Beatts, actress-producer Colleen Camp and many others. Her background in production also includes work for NBC, JJ Abrams' Bad Robot, New Regency, and more.
As for her own directing work, she directed the original Sony PlayStation pilot Two Roads and many award winning short films. She recently directed the second unit of AwesomenessTV's Twin My Heart with The Merrell Twins, Brat TV's Chicken Girls, and Shadow Lion’s Determined. Ashton was a quarterfinalist for NBC's Emerging Director Program and was welcomed into Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Impact Community. Her original pilot Joselito's is a quarterfinalist in Final Draft's Big Break Competition, Stage 32's Television Writing Contest and Screencraft's Pilot Launch. Ashton's script Crabs was selected for the NHMC's Latinx Stream Showcase 2022 and she currently has two scripts in development at Roth Kirschenbaum Films. In her spare time she enjoys teaching, watching sappy teen rom coms, listening to Taylor Swift break up songs and making tamales with her family at Christmas time.