Kelly-Ruth is an award-winning film director, writer, and producer, and an active actor and teacher in theatre, film and television. She is an alumna of Women in the Director’s Chair, and holds an M.F.A. (Directing) from the University of British Columbia and a B.A. (Acting) from Dalhousie University.
Her short film MEDIC was nominated for six Leo Awards, where K-R was nominated for screenwriting & direction, and an Award of Merit (Special Mention) for Direction at the Best Short Competition in 2016.
Kelly-Ruth won the prestigious MPPIA Short Film Pitch Award in 2009 and the resulting film, MOVE OUT CLEAN, had its World Premiere at the Whistler Film Festival in Dec 2010, followed by VIFF the following year. It was named by The Shorts Report as Canada’s Best Short Film in 2011, and had previously been shortlisted for the NSA Drama Prize and Hot Shots Shorts Contest.
She has twice been on the winning team for the DGC-BC “Kickstart” Award, and her directing effort, NO ONE KNOWS YOU LIKE YOUR MOTHER, won K-R the 2010 Leo Award for Best Screenwriting in a Short Drama.
Kelly-Ruth was selected as one of five Crazy 8’s winners in 2005, and her film 24/7, had its World Premiere at the Ethics in Entertainment Film Festival in Phoenix, AZ.
Her short film, UNFINISHED, which she directed as faculty at Vancouver Film School, had its World Premiere at the Atlanta International Film Festival.
As a producer, her short films AFTER and ONCE UPON A TIME ON A BEACH both had World Premieres at TIFF, have screened internationally, and have attracted numerous nominations and awards. STILL LIFE WITH SCISSORS was one of three winners of the inaugural CBC “Signature Shorts” contest, and THE WATCHERS enjoyed a successful festival run, received multiple award nominations and wins – including the Audience Choice Award at the Whistler Film Festival. She has produced web video for blue-chip corporate clients, including Wynn Las Vegas and Nintendo, and has been on the producing team or served in post production on television drama and documentary.
Her extensive film experience includes work as a Visual Effects Producer, an Assistant Director, and as the Production Manager on the CBC Life & Times of Umberto Menghi.
Kelly-Ruth has taught at the university level, in colleges and many professional schools, and in a number of specialties, including at the Acting Program at UBC and Script Analysis classes and workshops at numerous venues. She has taught at The Art Institute (producing, marketing & distribution, Working With Actors), Vancouver Film School (Writing Dept: Pitching), and has guest lectured for numerous clients.
Kelly-Ruth has received support through CTV & Creative Women Workshops Association, MPPIA, DGC-BC, BC Arts Council, National Film Board, Women in Film, and the NS Arts Council.
Ms. Mercier remains active in the theatre, having directed the Canadian premiere of Leo Butler’s MADE OF STONE, and Kenneth Lonergan’s LOBBY HERO, which was reviewed in the Georgia Straight as: “(a more) satisfying experience than that of anything currently playing on this town’s bigger, more expensive stages” and that “under Kelly-Ruth Mercier’s direction, the acting in this production is tremendous.”
After a 15 year absence, she returned to the stage in the musicals Cry-Baby: The Musical (2017) and Pageant: The Musical (2018). K-R’s acting resumé is lengthy and is 30 years long. She currently recurs on the 2019 TNT scifi series SNOWPIERCER, and Guest Stars on the Series Finale of iZOMBIE. She has costarred on the Hallmark movies “Love, Once & Always” with Amanda Schull, and with Catherine Bell in “Home For Christmas Day.” She’s appeared opposite Jen Lilley twice: in “A Dash of Love” and “Harvest Love.” She dies in Season Two of DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY on Netflix, and has also recurred as a nurse twice: on A&E’s BATES MOTEL and Bravo’s GIRLFRIENDS GUIDE TO DIVORCE. Other favourites include gueststarring on AMC’s THE KILLING, The Hub Network’s THE HAUNTING HOUR, Showtime’s THE L WORD, CTV’s ROBSON ARMS and COLD SQUAD, and CBC’s BLACK HARBOUR, and appearing in the WB series SMALLVILLE and SUPERNATURAL, ABC’s ONCE UPON A TIME, and a number of features including “A Dog’s Purpose,” Robert Redford’s “The Company You Keep” and several television movies (some faves are “Monsterville” and “In My Dreams”). She has traipsed stages in 9 of Canada’s 10 provinces and has juried for the Gemini Awards (CSA’s), Leo Awards, Women in the Director’s Chair, and Hot Shots Film Contest.