Filmmaker + Writer + Director + Sometimes Actor + All-the-time fun
The short documentary, Neurodivergent, is currently playing virtually and in film festivals across the country. Take a look at the website to see screening dates!
Recipient of the DGA Student Film Jury's Choice Award for West Coast Female Director!
Check out the press release here ->
Hi. I'm Afton.
I want to preface this 'about me' section with a photo:
In my humble opinion, this image of me as a child says everything you will ever need to know about who I am at the core of my being. Anything else I write (as obviously brilliant as it may be) will fail to express the nuance and insight into my personality this photo depicts with such clarity.
But, if you absolutely must know more, please feel free to read on.
I grew up in Anaheim, California, where I began my love for storytelling and movies, forcing my friends to act out the musical Evita and treasurer of the Indiana Jones Fan Club. I was like a tiny, bossy version of Martin Scorsese in pigtails, or so I'm told.
I began my career in the arts by acting and singing professionally at 13 years old, touring the U.S. and Europe, and paying my bills playing pretend and make-believe on stages across the country. When I realized that being a writer and director meant I got to play ALL the parts, I attended USC's School of Cinematic Arts. I graduated in 2021 with a degree in production, channeling my love of storytelling into filmmaking and writing. I dropped out of school when I was 16 years old, so graduating from USC was one of the proudest moments of my life. It's either that or running a 5k. I know it's only a few miles, but I really hate running, so...
Anywho. Back to the arts.
Through my training and experience after graduating, I've learned that my directorial style provides support, empowerment, and a collaborative work environment for everyone involved to find the purest reflection of themselves through the work and its creation. Or, ya know, just providing an environment where you don't hate everyone you have to be with for 12 hours working on a car commercial.
Both are super valid.
Whether on stage or screen, my work is frequently defined by themes of flawed anti-heroes, complicated family dynamics, mental health (or lack thereof), bold visual stylings, and a strong emphasis on using music to create an immersive experience for the audience. I love humans, and I'm endlessly curious, leading me to dive into stories that require research and force me to tap into new sides of myself.
This curiosity is why I fell in love with documentary film during my time at USC and chose to direct a thesis documentary, Neurodivergent, a film about adult women with ADHD, and my own recent diagnosis, in my final year. ADHD is a constantly conflicting disorder, and I can't think of anything more interesting than making art that conflicts in the same way. I've found that the most magical moments in my work are attained through that conflict. The authentic, vulnerable, or even tragic moments in life mixed with a fantastical, heightened, and sometimes hilarious situation bring out the best in eachother. As a Neurodivergent filmmaker, I like to break the rules and blur the lines between fiction and reality to represent how I see the world, which is a little different. Or that's what I'm told by all the neurotypicals out there.
I also tend to hyperfocus and go on and on about the things I love, as you can see.
Currently, I live and freelance in Pasadena, CA, with my husband Jesse, our dog Johanna, and the wild parrots that live in the tree outside our window.