Filmmaker + Writer + Director + Sometimes Performer + 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'm a documentary and narrative fiction filmmaker, writer, and performer, who is committed to disability and mental health advocacy through the arts. But, like, in a funny way. I'm painfully aware 'advocacy' and 'documentary' don't exactly scream hilarity to most people.
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 the 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 professional career in the arts at 13 years old by acting, singing, and playing make-believe on stages across the U.S. and Europe. 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. Does anyone actually like running?
Anywho. Back to the arts.
Through my training and experience after graduating, I've learned that my directorial and leadership 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.
My writing has placed in screenwriting competitions at Austin Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, and Atlanta Film Festival, as well as receiving the HFPA Center for Cinema & Television award for Best Short Script. Most recently, I gained recognition for directing and writing my short USC thesis documentary, Neurodivergent, a personal mixed-media experience about women with ADHD. The film has played over 30 film festivals worldwide, received the Jury Prize at the DGA Student Film Awards, and was broadcast on KCET's Fine Cut Festival of Films, for which it won Best Documentary.
You can check out my most recent work in my mother's newsletter that she sends out to her neighbors without asking my permission. According to retired bank teller Sue, my parent's neighbor, my work is, "...a little depressing and uncomfortable, but probably funny to someone." Thanks for the review, Sue! You're spot on.
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.