Ruth Paxton


Ruth Paxton is a filmmaker named in Canongate’s FUTURE 40, a list of storytellers anticipated to dominate the next 40 years of creative life in Scotland. In 2019 Screen Daily featured her as one of ‘Six emerging Scotland based Directors you need to know.’ Her award-winning short films have been exhibited and nominated in competition at numerous international events and prominent film festivals. Short drama PARIS/SEXY won the UK Film Council’s award for Best British Short at the 2011 London Short Film Festival and Paxton won Best Woman Director at the same festival in 2015 for her film, PULSE.

Paxton is alumnus of a number of labs and development programmes, including Guiding Lights 8, the UK’s most prestigious professional mentoring scheme. She was selected for BFI NETWORK’s development programme during London Film Festival 2017, and has been participant of the Toronto Talent Lab, EIFF Talent Lab, Wellcome Trust’s Ideas Lab, CPH:PIX Sessions, British Council’s Film and Music Archive Lab in association with PRS for Music Foundation, BFI and Manchester’s HOME, and also jury member at Ukraine’s Wiz-Art International Short Film Festival. In 2014 Paxton was Artist in Residence at the Cucalorus Film Foundation in NC, USA.

Other commissions include BAROQUE for Milan’s Festival Delle Lettere, ROCKHAVEN for the Royal Philharmonic Society and NEVADA, commissioned and featuring music by folk trio, LAU. Ruth recently directed the performance element of a 360VR piece with producer Ashley McPherson and BBC Scotland, viscerally examining the nature of anxiety. And completed production of her new short horror BE STILL MY BEATING HEART starring Maxine Peake, commissioned for production via BBC Films and SFTN, produced by BFI Vision Award recipients barry crerar with whom she is developing her feature, THE FLAMING HEART with script development finance from BBC Films. BE STILL MY BEATING HEART had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival 2019 and was nominated for Best British Short at London Short Film Festival 2020.

Ruth is currently attached to direct an untitled feature project set in Portland, Oregon with producer Linda Reisman (USA) and British writer Deborah Haywood inspired by Peter Rock’s novel, KLICKITAT. With script development and director support financed by Film Four.

She is currently in pre-production on a horror feature, A BANQUET, written by Justin Bull and produced by Leonora Darby, James Harris and Mark Lane of Tea Shop. The script has just won the Filmaka prize for best screenplay, in conjunction with Riverstone films and will begin principal photography in May 2020.

Ruth has directed two blocks of BBC Continuing Drama RIVER CITY, comprising four episodes in total. She is a professional mentor with Raindance’s International MA film students and Associate Lecturer at Screen Academy Scotland working. She makes commercial content with leading Scottish company, Mallinson Television Productions, and is represented by Mark Casarotto of Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.

Creative areas of interest

Psychologial Horror + Mental Health Issues + Psychosexual and Romantic Drama + Fables, Mythology, Legends, Fairytales, Folklore + Death Awareness + Vanitas Theme + Renaissance and Baroque Art + Surrealism + Marilyn Monroe and Hollywood’s Golden Era + Crime Scene Photography + Editorial Fashion + Interior Design + Gothica + Storytelling therapy + Classic Gangster Genre + Cinematic Television + Francis Ford Coppola, Yorgos Lanthimos, Jonathan Glazer, Jane Campion, Jacques Audiard, Cate Shortland

Mentoring strengths

+ Across Short and Feature filmmaking (drama / experimental / music)


*Seed Idea, Character and Story development

*Packaging (Supporting Documents, STORY & LOOK BOOKS)



*Visual Storytelling + Production Design

*Casting, Rehearsal, Working with actors