AshBash @ Together in Motion in Arlington

Synopsis

“Why aren’t you married?” The question stalked Ashley for years.

Amusing, unflinchingly honest, and deeply profound, this ultimately inspiring documentary follows one woman’s journey of self-exploration from full-on panic over being single to her epiphany that she does not have to get married; that her single life and all the many relationships in it are worth celebrating - in style.

Ashley hosts the legendary “AshBash”, inviting 200 guests to the wedding reception she never had. Ashley toasts herself (“I know, I know - there’s only a 50% chance this is going to work out”), lives out her dream of playing piano with a live band, and experiences her “first dance” - a hip-hop number she performs with her sister.

Standing the traditional happy ending on its head, the film salutes the power of possibility, connection, and joy. Come join the party - and experience a phenomenon like no other!  

Featuring the art of Emmy-award-winning Bonnie Timmons (“Caroline in the City”).

Director Bio

 

 

 

Heidi Sullivan, CEO of HMV Productions, is a former travel writer and attorney who likes nothingbetter than a good story. Heidi's globetrotting has taken her from Antarctica to Zambia. She has been on every continent; gone to clown school and law school; and holds two degrees from Harvard. Her work has been recognized at film festivals from Hollywood to Europe. “AshBash” is her first feature-length documentary. 

Director Statement

In the United States, it’s illegal to ask about one’s marital status at a job interview - but it’s a question that seems to pop up just about everywhere else. Insurance forms. Custom forms. Death certificates. Quite literally - it’s a question that follows you into the grave: “Are you married?” If not, why not? 

We’re all familiar with the traditional “happily ever after” narrative. But what if one CHOOSES to stay single? What does that story look like? How does that story end? 

Enter Ashley. She told me she was throwing a party - a really BIG party. It was going to be the wedding reception she never had - slash - a birthday party - slash - a family talent show. 

Ashley would be the first to tell you: this kind of thing gets a reaction. Most were intrigued; a few thought she was “stone cold crazy”. But in the end, everyone cheered: seeing Ashley walk out on the dance floor with her sister - ready to perform a hip-hop dance in front of 200 people - was a moment of sheer unadulterated joy. 

It is the spirit of the AshBash that captivated me: the idea that my life is right now, and that it should be celebrated right now. 

As Ashley shows us, the real question is not whether one is married or not married - instead, it’s about how you choose to live your life every day. It’s about being mindful; seeking joy; cultivating ALL one’s relationships - with your family, with your friends, with yourself. 

To meet Ashley in person is an incredible experience - one is at once amused, engaged, enlightened, and inspired. She is honest; she is witty; she is profound. As a friend and fellow filmmaker put it, Ashley is her own special effect. It is my sincere hope that this documentary captures at least a bit of Ashley’s essence and inspires others to celebrate their own lives - in whatever form their own “AshBash” might take.

Awards for AshBash

Winner - Best Documentary Feature

GEFF Worldwide - Cancún, Mexico

Winner - Best Documentary

Golden Egg Film Festival - Hollywood, CA

Winner - Special Recognition Award

Boston International Film Festival (Boston, MA)

Winner - Audience Award - Best Film

Rome International Film Festival (Rome, Georgia)

1st Runner-Up - Best Documentary Feature (Audience Awards)

Woods Hole Film Festival (Cape Cod)

Official Selection

Albuquerque Film & Media Experience at Nob Hill (Albuquerque, NM)

Official Selection

Arlington International Film Festival (Arlington, MA)