Ruth Paxton’s Psychological Horror Film “A Banquet” Premieres at TIFF


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First-time filmmaker Ruth Paxton’s new film, A Banquet will make its World Premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival this Friday. 

The film is a visually arresting, slow-burning psychological horror that uses subtle supernatural elements to create tension within a family in the midst of a breakdown, exploiting the complicated bond between three generations of mothers and daughters. 

Widowed mother Holly (Sienna Guillory) is radically tested when her teenage daughter Betsey (Jessica Alexander) experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power.

Bound to her newfound faith, Betsey refuses to eat but loses no weight. In an agonizing dilemma, torn between love and fear, Holly is forced to confront the boundaries of her own beliefs.


“The film is populated with a rich-blooded line of female characters with Holly’s fierce mother June as matriarch indicating sub-themes therein to do with cyclical mother/daughter relationships, nourishment and care, and the demands of womanhood. The film wants to disturb, disgust and frighten but only once it’s earned audience empathy for the family at the heart of it.”

— Ruth Paxton, Director

The film stars Sienna Guillory, Jessica Alexander, Ruby Stokes, and Lindsay Duncan. Written by Justin Bull.

A Banquet will make its World Premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival – scheduling and info can be found on official TIFF site.