Andrea Arnold decided to focus on filmmaking after spending 10 years as an actress and host in the television industry. In doing so, she at first went to Los Angeles to study at American Film Institute Conservatory. She then returned to her hometown, Dartford, and joined PAL Labs where she honed her writing skills.
Andrea made her directorial debut in 1998 with the short film Milk. She also released a short film Dog before directing her breakthrough story Wasp in 2003.
Wasp stars Natalie Press in the role of Zoe, a struggling single mother with four children, who is looking forward to rekindling a relationship with an ex-boyfriend (played by Danny Dyer). The 26-minute long movie was entirely shot in Andrea’s hometown.
Wasp won its first award at Stockholm Film Festival in 2003, following which it won eight other awards including an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film in 2004.
She debuted as a mainstream director in 2006 by directing Red Road, a story which was also written by herself.
Red Road is the first installment of Advance Party, a planned trilogy, set and filmed in Scotland using the same crew. Each film was a mainstream debut for different directors.
The film was voted as one of the best British films in the last 25 years during a poll conducted by The Observer and won five BAFTA Awards, including one for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.
After directing two more award-winning films Fish Tank (2009) and Wuthering Heights (2011), Andrea made her Hollywood debut in 2016 from the film American Honey. The film which revolves around a group of young people traveling across the country features mostly inexperienced actors, along with professionals like Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough.
The film won several awards including the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It was the third time that Andrea won the Jury Prize. She received the first one in 2006 for Red Road and the second in 2009 for Fish Tank.
Andrea is currently working with various film festivals around the world.