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Tonya Hurley

Tonya Hurley, 1998

ghostgirl creator, author, screenwriter and filmmaker Tonya Hurley is a critically-acclaimed writer/director whose credits span film, television, live performance and interactive media. Her career is marked by a unique ability to blend her commercial and underground sensibilities into accessible, but edgy projects.

Hurley has been nominated for the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Award in film and has also made the semi-finals of the Sundance Institute’s Writer’s Lab for her feature film script, “Good Mourning.” In addition, she has written and directed five critically acclaimed animated and live-action docu-shorts — Kiss My Brain, The Biblical Real World, Solo-Me, Baptism of Solitude: A Tribute to Paul Bowles and best friEND. These award-winning films have been screened to enthusiastic audiences around the world at such festivals and venues as The TriBeCa Film Festival, The Edinburgh Film Festival, The Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, Institute for Contemporary Arts in London, Poetry Festival DVD — which is currently being distributed world-wide by the United Nations, The Budapest Film Festival and the Anthology Film Archives in New York City. Several of her shorts have been broadcast on such outlets as PBS, IFC – Independent Film Channel, amazon.com, CBS Jumbotron in Times Square and AOL moviefone.com.

Beyond her work as an indie filmmaker, Hurley is the co-creator and co-producer of the ABC Family sitcom So Little Time, featuring superstars Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen. She is also co-producer and a co-writer of In Action!, a hit animated series which aired on Disney’s One Saturday Morning on ABC during the 2000 -2001 season. She has also written for episodic children’s television including the popular PBS series Big, Big World. Hurley has written and directed television commercials for PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance and Warner Home Video. She was the primary provider of original content for the mary-kateandashley.com website, one of the most highly trafficked destinations for kids and tweens ever. In addition, she is the creator and co-executive producer the of mary-kateandashley brand video games, which were the number one video games for girls throughout their production in the late 1990s. She has also created two board games and developed dolls for Mattel.

Hurley began her career after earning a degree in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was an active member of the Pittsburgh Filmmakers – shooting several experimental films on Super 8. She then moved to NYC and became a publicist for such artists as John Lydon, Paul Westerberg, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Erasure, Prince, Morrissey, George Michael, John Cale and Bush.

Tonya’s most recent creation is ghostgirl, a character which she began developing via her Webby Award-nominated website ghostgirl.com and her AOL RED exclusive site ghostgirlonred.com. Hurley has recently completed the first ghostgirl novel, which will be published by Little, Brown & Co. in March 2008.


Little, Brown & Company: Nancy Conescu at Little, Brown has bought rights to two ghostgirl YA novels, described in Publisher’s Weekly as Beetlejuice meets Heathers.

ghostgirl.com: Creator.

School of Visual Arts in NYC: Creating a series of armatures and tests for a stop-motion animation project.

AOL: ghostgirl on RED – America Online’s teen site, created by Hurley, launched the ghostgirl area on August 19.

AOL Moviefone: best friEND – written and directed by Tonya Hurley will be featured through the month of July.

PBS: Big, Big, World – wrote the episode ‘So Long, Planty.’

United Nations/ Poetry Festival DVD: ‘Baptism of Solitude: A Tribute to Paul Bowles’ included on a compliation DVD along with Abbas Kiarostami, Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa, Joyce Carol Oates, and Martin Espada. Available in Rattapallax Magazine through the United Nations in NYC during the Poetry Festival and distributed in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. Executive produced by Bob Holman, who won several Emmys for his poetry films and produced “The United States of Poetry” for PBS. Past compilations featured artists and poets such as Lou Reed, Saul Williams, Rick Moody, Ernesto Cardenal, Sharon Olds, Marilyn Hacker.

Webby Awards: ghostgirl.com, created by Hurley, has been honored with official nominations for the years 2006 and 2007.

Amazon.com: Baptism of Solitude – A Tribute to Paul Bowles will be screening online at amazon.com in the Tribeca Screening Room.

CBS jumbo-tron: Baptism of Solitude: A Tribute to Paul Bowles will run on the CBS jumbo-tron throughout the month of May in Times Square in New York City. click for photo

Tribeca Film Festival: Official Selection – Baptism of Solitude: A Tribute to Paul Bowles. Official Selection – Best friEND.

IFC: Independent Film Channel has broadcast Baptism of Solitude: A Tribute to Paul Bowles from 2002 – 2005.

Los Angeles Independent Film Festival: Official Selection – Kiss My Brain.

Canadian International Film Festival: Kiss My Brain won second place in the animated short category.

Woodstock Film Festival: Official Selection – Baptism of Solitude: A Tribute to Paul Bowles.

Edinburgh Film Festival: Official Selection – Best friEND.

Budapest Film Festival: Official Selection – Kiss My Brain.

Florida Film Festival: Official Selection – Kiss My Brain.

Hamptons Short Film Festival: Official Selection – Kiss My Brain.

Mary-Kate and Ashley DVDs: Consulted on several scripts for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s direct to videos/DVD on Warner Home Video.

PBS: Solo-Me-O aired repeatedly as part screened as part of the ‘Reel New York’ series.

Nickelodeon Film Festival: Official Selection – Kiss My Brain

New York International Film Festival: Official Selection.

New York Horror Film Festival: Regular sponsor.

Anthology Film Archive: Kiss My Brain was shown as part of I.F.P.’s Woman behind the camera and above the line series sponsored by the Sundance Channel.

Warner Home Video: Wrote, directed and produced six commercials.

Dualstar Productions: Creative consultant on the Mary-Kate and Ashley brand. Responsible for over-all tone of the brand, creating content as well as involved in creating, developing and writing product for all mediums.

Mattel: Consulted on doll development and commercials .

Playstation (Acclaim): Wrote, directed and produced several commercials.

Gameboy (Acclaim): Wrote, directed and produced an animated commercial.

ABC: Wrote and co-produced a cartoon for Disney’s One Saturday Morning.

Mattel: Created two board games for the Mary-Kate and Ashley brand.

CinemaNow.com: Biblical Real World – a short with Jesus and his ‘roomies’ in an MTV Real World spoof.

Disney/ABC: Wrote the episode ‘Rave Reviews,’ for Mary-Kate and Ashley’s inAction series. It was chosen by Mattel to have dolls made from this episode.

Acclaim Entertainment: Created and Co-Executive produced games for Gameboy, Game Cube and Playstation. They are the #1 selling games for girls.

Writers Guild of America: Active member since 2001.

Fox Family: Co-produced fashion show which aired several times on Fox Family.

Sundance: Wrote a feature script which made the semi-finals of the Sundance Institute’s Writers Lab.

Rockefeller Foundation Award: Official nominee for the year 2001 for work in film.

ABC Family: Created and co-produced the sitcom ‘So Little Time’, starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. It is currently airing world-wide and is available on DVD.

Institute for Contemporary Art in London: Featured ‘Kiss My Brain’ in their film series.

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