Far away from the world of documentaries, Ashley once had dreams of becoming a professional musician. But after studying Music at Oxford University, he took a different path, joining a BBC trainee scheme and working in music and arts TV.
After winning the Channel 4 First Cut competition, Ashley directed his documentary The Real Eastenders, about the community on the Isle of Dogs. Shortly after, he directed acclaimed documentary Damilola: The Boy Next Door, rising to the challenge of telling a well-known story from a new perspective. His work on these programmes earned him a BAFTA nomination for Emerging Talent in Factual.
Ashley says it is overwhelming to be named a Breakthrough and looks forward to meeting other filmmakers who will help him grow as a director as part of the scheme. He hopes to continue making character-led, emotive films about important stories, giving expression to unheard voices and different points of view, while making a strong connection with the audience. Ashley is currently working on a major new series about police corruption.
Ashley’s Breakthrough credit is TV documentary Damilola: The Boy Next Door (Channel 4)