Maria headshot-1.jpg

Personal Statement

I'm the eldest of 5 sisters. Our novelist Mom and jazz musician-turned-professor Dad took us traveling every summer on spectacular two month long adventures – once, we took the year off school to travel round the world. We didn't have a lot of money, so we were creative: hitchhiking through Alaska (yes, a family of 7!), biking through France, and trekking in Nepal.


I learned about different cultures and people, and this deep interest in humanity underlies all my work. I also learned flexibility, adaptability, and to see humor in many situations -- all traits that now serve me well. I am highly prepared as a director, yet able to roll with unexpected curveballs that are inevitably part of production. My hard work and good humor inspire cast and crew to deliver their best, and my fresh perspective insures that all on-screen characters are rich and complex.


Named by Variety as "talent to watch," Maria has directed 6 successful independent feature films, the latest of which are currently available on Netflix and Amazon: A Sort of Homecoming, with Laura Marano and Katherine McNamara, and For the Love of George, with Rosanna Arquette, Tate Donovan, Rex Lee & Kristen Johnston. Earlier films include Just Friends (AMC/WE), Temps, and Manna from Heaven (MGM/SONY).


Burton helms Five Sisters Productions with her real-life siblings, through which she directed the pilot for the Emmy qualifying short form series Old Guy and produced The Happiest Day of His Life (MTV/Logo), Kings, Queens & In-Betweens, and Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go of God" (Showtime).

Burton has been selected for television directing programs including the recent DGA's DDI Emerging Directors Mentorship Program, the Disney/ABC Directing Program, the CBS Directing Initiative, the Ryan Murphy HALF Foundation, the SONY Diverse Directors Program, and ProjectHER, for which she wrote and directed the short pilot Good Eggs.

Burton has served on the National Board of the DGA (Alt), Co-Chair of the DGA's WSC and DGA's Council of Joint Co-Chairs, past Co-Chair of Alliance of Women Directors and is a member of Film Fatales. She's currently working on an indie film, MidLife, and developing projects including Searching for Tamsen Donner, based on her mother's award winning books; and Mercury 13, a drama inspired by the women tested for the original astronaut program, which has been named to the Athena List, the BitchList/Bechdel List, won a CineStory Fellowship, and is a Nicholl Quarterfinalist.


Andrew Hersh @ Thrive Entertainment        310-209-1500