Ashton Sanders

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Ashton Sanders
Ashton Sanders.jpg
Ashton Durrand Sanders[1]

(1995-10-24) October 24, 1995 (age 23)
EducationGrand Arts High School
Years active2012–present

Ashton Durrand Sanders (born October 24, 1995)[2] is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Teen Chiron in the Academy Award-winning film Moonlight (2016).

Early life[edit]

Sanders was born in Carson, California. He attended Grand Arts High School in Downtown Los Angeles, from which he graduated in 2013.[3] He was studying towards a BFA at the Theatre School at DePaul University, before dropping out in 2016 to focus on his acting career.[4]


Sanders made his film debut in The Retrieval, directed by Chris Eska.[5] The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 11, 2013.[6] It was released in a limited release on April 2, 2014 by Variance Films.[7][8]

In 2015, Sanders had a small role in Straight Outta Compton.[9] In 2016, he appeared in an episode of Refinery29's web series The Skinny.[10]

The same year, Sanders appeared in the drama film Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins.[11] The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2016, and began a limited release on October 21, 2016 by A24.[12][13] Moonlight received massive critical acclaim as well dozens of accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture – Drama.[14] The film also won three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.[15] Sanders' role in the film was praised by critics;[16] Benjamin Lee of The Guardian called his performance "powerful".[17]

Sanders co-starred in The Equalizer 2, a sequel to the hit action film The Equalizer, opposite Denzel Washington.[18] In 2019, Sanders starred in Rupert Wyatt's science fiction thriller film Captive State, opposite John Goodman and Vera Farmiga.[19] He also played the lead in HBO's adaptation of the novel Native Son.



Year Title Role Notes
2012 Making Possibilities[20] Donnie Short film
2013 The Retrieval Will
2015 Straight Outta Compton Kid
2016 Moonlight Teen Chiron Austin Film Critics Association Special Honorary Award for Best Ensemble
Gotham Special Jury Award – Ensemble Performance
Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award
MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
We Home Javan Short film
The Last Virgin in LA Josh Short film
2018 The Equalizer 2 Miles Whittaker
The Kids Are Alright Angel Short film based on the Grammy-nominated album The Kids Are Alright by American R&B duo Chloe x Halle
2019 Native Son Bigger Thomas
Captive State Gabriel Drummond
All Day and a Night Jah Post-production

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2016 The Skinny Tyler Episode: "Squad"


  1. ^ "Ashton Durrand Sanders (@ashtondsanders) • Instagram photos and videos".
  2. ^ Robehmed, Natalie (January 6, 2017). "Meet Ashton Sanders, Star Of 'Moonlight' And 30 Under 30 Honoree". Forbes.
  3. ^ Duncan, Fiona. "ASHTON SANDERS". Wonderland Magazine. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  4. ^ Cuby, Michael. ""Moonlight"'s Ashton Sanders Opens Up About Being Bullied". Teen Vogue. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  5. ^ Harris, Brandon (April 3, 2014). "Battle Cry: Chris Eska on The Retrieval". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  6. ^ "The Retrieval". South by Southwest. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (February 13, 2014). "SXSW Winner 'The Retrieval' Gets US Distribution". Variety. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  8. ^ "The Retrieval". Apple Trailers. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  9. ^ Phillips, Michael (September 15, 2016). "'Moonlight' reveals struggles of a young African-American man". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  10. ^ "The Skinny". Refinery29. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (October 21, 2015). "Naomie Harris, Andre Holland, Mahershala Ali to Star in 'Moonlight'". Variety. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  12. ^ Hammond, Pete (September 1, 2016). "Telluride Film Festival Lineup: 'Sully', 'La La Land', 'Arrival', 'Bleed For This' & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 28, 2016). "A24 Sets Dates For 'Moonlight' & Cannes Jury Prize Winner 'American Honey'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  14. ^ Berman, Eliza. "'Moonlight' Wins Golden Globe for Best Picture, Drama". Time. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  15. ^ Opam, Kwame (January 24, 2017). "Oscar nominations 2017: Moonlight and La La Land will go head-to-head at the Academy Awards". The Verge. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  16. ^ "Meet 'Moonlight' Star Ashton Sanders". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  17. ^ Lee, Benjamin (April 22, 2017). "Moonlight's Ashton Sanders: 'America isn't made for the black man'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  18. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (August 24, 2017). "'Moonlight's Ashton Sanders Lands A Lead In 'Equalizer 2'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  19. ^ "'Moonlight' Breakout Ashton Sanders Joins John Goodman in 'Captive State' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  20. ^ Shand, Rohan, Making Possibilities, Mandy Aceves-Lopez, Karina Maddox, Ashton Sanders, retrieved October 24, 2017

External links[edit]