Emmy-winning gay filmmaker Ash Christian, who overcame homophobia to reach Hollywood’s upper echelons, dies at 35

Ash Christian

The Emmy award-winning gay filmmaker Ash Christian has sadly passed away in his sleep aged 35 while on holiday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Christian was best known for his first feature film “Fat Girls” (2006), which he wrote, directed and starred in at just 19 years old. The fearless filmmaker braved a public outcry when Texas officials learned his planned locations for shooting were to be used for a “gay film,” and forced him to start from scratch.

Despite the setback the movie went on to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and earned him the award for Outstanding Emerging Talent at Outfest. It propelled him into the indie filmmaking scene where he quickly became a prominent voice.

In 2014 Christian won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Short Format Daytime Program for “mI Promise”. He went on to act in several TV shows including “The Good Fight”, “The Good Wife” and “Law and Order”.

His true calling was with production though. Christian founded his own production company, Cranium Entertainment, to advance emerging voices and produce films such as “1985,” “Hurricane Bianca,” “Burn,” “Social Animals” and “Coyote Lake.”

At the time of his death the prolific filmmaker was working on a slew of projects with stars including Dustin Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergman, Matt Bomer, Sam Worthington, and Mayim Bialik and Simon Helberg of The Big Bang Theory.

Ash Christian

Ash Christian at the premiere of 1985  in Austin, Texas. (Tim Mosenfelder/Getty)

“Ash was a great friend, colleague and partner in crime,” his producing partner Anne Clements told Variety.

“He was a champion of indie film and filmmakers and his love of the process of putting movies together was infectious. My heart goes out to his family, especially his mother. The world lost one of the good ones.”

Another of his producing partners, Jordan Yale Levine, regretted his loss. “With Ash, work was always fun. That’s the effect he had on people,” he said.

“I will miss my good friend dearly, as I know so many others will as well. The world has lost a talented writer/director/producer, but most importantly, a great person who had so much more life to live.”