Ash Christian, filmmaker & founder Cranium Entertainment, dies at 35

Ash Christian Died

Ash Christian, left, is seen with actress Missi Pyle in this undated photo. Photo: Courtesy Lon Haber.

Ash Christian, an Emmy award-winning producer, actor, filmmaker, and founder of Cranium Entertainment, died in his sleep on Friday while vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a spokesman said.

Christian, who identified as gay, was 35, spokesman Lon Haber said in a statement Sunday. No information was released about a cause of death.

“Ash was a great friend, colleague, and partner in crime,” Anne Clements, a longtime friend and producing partner, said in the same statement. “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.”

Christian’s New York City-based entertainment company produced numerous films, including “1985,” “Hurricane Bianca,” “Little Sister,” and “Coin Heist.”


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2020 is a rough year. @ashchristian you will be missed. 💔 Thank you for always having faith in me. Rest well, my friend 💔

A post shared by Bianca Del Rio (@thebiancadelrio) on


RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Bianca Del Rio, who starred in “Hurricane Bianca,” shared an emotional social media post on Instagram to mourn her friend’s.

“2020 is a rough year. @ashchristian you will be missed. 💔. Thank you for always having faith in me. Rest well, my friend 💔.”

Christian’s credits as an actor included roles on “Cleaners,” “The Good Wife,” “The Good Fight,” “Law & Order,” and “Person of Interest.”

Born on Jan. 16, 1985, in Paris, Texas, Christian began writing and directing short films at 14, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams two years later. Christian wrote, directed and starred in his first feature film, “Fat Girls,” in 2006; he was 19 years old.

The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won an award for outstanding emerging talent at Outfest, Los Angeles’ largest LGBTQ film festival.

In 2014, Christian won a Daytime Emmy for outstanding special-class short-format daytime program for “mI Promise.” He shared the award with Clements, his producing partner, and executive producers Lauralee Bell and Scott Martin.

Christian and Clements had a few releases in the works: “Chick Fight” with Malin Akerman, Fortune Feimster, and Alec Baldwin coming out in the fall and “Paper Spiders” featuring Lili Taylor, Max Casella, and Peyton List.

Jordan Yale Levin of Yale Productions also worked with Christian. They partnered on “After Everything” with Marissa Tomei, Gina Gershon, and Jeremy Allen White and “Burn” with Josh Hutcherson, Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Suki Waterhouse.

“With Ash, work was always fun,” Levin said. “That’s the effect he had on people. I will miss my good friend dearly, as I know so many others will as well.”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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