5 December 1969 –
Film Director, Writer, Producer & Cinematographer
Lynne Ramsay is a Scottish film director, writer, producer, and cinematographer best known for the feature films Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar and We Need to Talk about Kevin. She is married to Rory Stewart Kinnear. Lynne Ramsay's work bears a powerful personal imprint. Her films are marked by a fascination with children and young people and the recurring, unresolvable themes of grief, guilt and death and its aftermath. They are low on dialogue and explicit story exposition, and instead use images, vivid details, music and sound design to create their unsettling worlds. In April 2013 she was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Born in Glasgow on 5 December 1969, Ramsay graduated from the UK's National Film and Television School in 1995. She studied photography at Napier College, Edinburgh, then entered the National Film and Television School, where she specialised in cinematography and direction.
Ramsay won the 1996 Cannes Prix de Jury for her graduation film, the short "Small Deaths"(1996). Her second short film, "Kill the Day" (1996), won the Clermont Ferrand Prix du Jury; her third, "Gasman"(1998), won her another Cannes Prix du Jury in addition to a Scottish BAFTA for Best Short Film.
Ratcatcher (1999), Ramsay's debut feature, won critical acclaim and numerous awards. It was screened at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival and opened the Edinburgh International Film Festival, winning her the Guardian New Directors prize. She also won the Carl Foreman Award for Newcomer in British Film at the 2000 BAFTA Awards, the Sutherland Trophy at the London Film Festival and the Silver Hugo for Best Director at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Morvern Callar (2002) won Samantha Morton the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress, and Kathleen McDermott the Scottish BAFTA Award for Best Actress. It also won the 2002 C.I.C.A.E. Award and the Award of The Youth at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011) is Ramsay's most recent feature length film in which she was the writer, producer and director. The film is about the trials of motherhood and raising a troubled child, and is based on Lionel Shriver's novel. Budgetary difficulties held the production up, but after several script drafts, the film, which employed a fragmented, elliptical narrative and starred Tilda Swinton as the tormented mother, premiered in 2011 to great acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival. Ramsay went on to receive a BAFTA nomination for Best Director as well as taking the Best Director prize at the British Independent Film Awards, and a win for Best Film Screenplay at the Writer's Guild of Great Britain.
In 2007 Ramsay was rated number 12 in Guardian Unlimited's list of the world's 40 best directors working today.
Ramsay is known for the outspoken praise and criticism she receives from her industry contemporaries. Los Angeles Times columnist Mark Olsen considered Ramsay "one of the leading lights of young British cinema", describing her additionally as "among the most celebrated British filmmakers of her generation."
On 8th October 2013, Ramsay was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Edinburgh for her contribution to British film.