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Nice to see you here. 

Gillian Pachter portrait

Ever since I turned up in Britain from America more than 25 years ago, I've been captivated by the stories of real people, and driven to translate them into the compelling medium of documentary. I've spent most of my career in TV, delivering must-see singles and series to major networks in the US and the UK. My most recent credits are for Sky, HBO Max, Discovery + and Audible.  I've been nominated for an RTS award for my documentary directing, and won awards for my narrative shorts. 

Having started my career as a self-shooting producer / director, I moved on from observational documentaries to high-end drama-docs that told gripping tales of crime and adventure. Most recently I have worked as a hands-on showrunner and exec, drawing on my experience in both observational and high-end factual to craft returnable, must-watch series, full of hooks, tension and drama. I'm the writer, creator and host of an original true crime podcast for Audible, about a literary seduction that led to murder. Killer Book Club is currently Audible's #1 podcast download. 


From January 2022 to July 2023 I was employed as Executive Producer at October Films to run a slate of projects with Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. 


I am excited to return to freelance directing and showrunning.  

Here's a more detailed breakdown of my credits:


[Under NDA] 3 x 45' (Sandpaper Films for Sky Documentaries) Oct '23 - present 

A surprising counter-narrative to a recent UK case that has called into doubt the #metoo mantra, 'Believe Women'. Production paused for reasons of a trial date shift. 

Lost Women of Highway 20 3 x 42' (October films for MAX and Discovery +) Jan '22 - June '23

A co-production with Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. For three decades, women and girls went missing in the wilderness of Central Oregon. Then a journalist from the Oregonian newspaper started asking why - and discovered a shocking tale of ordinary evil, hiding in plain sight. 

Feds 6 x 42' (October Films for MAX and Discovery +) Jan '22 - June '23

A co-production with Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. The Feds are everywhere, but nobody really knows what they do. With unprecedented access to active agents, we get the inside story on some of America's most notorious cases. 


Beanie Baby Mania 83' (October Films for HBO Max) Sept '21 - Jan '22

Before there were NFTs and crypto, there was a little stuffed toy called a Beanie.  The wild tale of how a group of soccer moms turned America's favorite toy into a financial instrument, creating billionaires and bankruptcies.  


Alan Dershowitz: Devil’s Advocate 4 x 60’ (Workerbee for Discovery+) May '21 - Sept '21

At 82, America’s most famous criminal defense attorney takes on a surprising client: himself. Battling accusations that he slept with Epstein’s sex slave, this series sees Alan reveal never-before-seen evidence, as we trace a career that has attracted controversy from day one.


Killer Book Club 8 x 35’ (Dorothy St Pictures and Vespucci Group for Audible) Jan ’20 - Aug '21

None of the books these club members read got anywhere near the dark and twisted plot that was brewing in their midst. Creator, writer and host of this original podcast.


The Crimes That Changed Us 8 x 43’ (October Studios for ID) May - Dec ‘20

This archive-and-audio only series gives the viewers a ringside seat as we rewind and replay America’s most riveting criminal cases, reflections and regrets.


Impact of Murder Season 2 2 x 90’ and 2 x 60’ (October Studios for ID) Nov ’19 - June ’20

Cases which changed America. Exclusive access to the family of Botham Jean, a black man murdered by a white cop while eating ice cream at home; and the victims of the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally.


Impact of Murder Season 1 6 x 60’ (October Studios for ID) Nov ’18 - July ‘20

The impact of murder from ground zero through to the present day.



Killer Book Club 8 x 35’ (Dorothy St Pictures and Vespucci Group for Audible) Jan ’20 - Aug '21

None of the books these club members read got anywhere near the dark and twisted plot that was brewing in their midst. Creator, writer and host of this original podcast.


James Bulger: The New Revelations 1 x 60’ (Caravan for five) Sept - Nov ‘18

A forensic journey into the motivations and rehabilitation of the boys who killed James Bulger 25 years ago, with access to secret parole papers. Second highest-rating doc of the year. Exec: Dinah Lord. Comm Ed: Guy Davies.

The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story 3 x 60' (Wall to Wall for BBC4) March ’17 - April ‘18

Nominated for an RTS award 2019

True crime meets history in this authored, innovative story of my re-investigation of the iconic Ruth Ellis case, with surprising twists. Exec: Cate Hall. Comm Ed: Abigail Priddle.  

Women in Prison 6 x 60' (raw for Investigation Discovery)

Ran a pressured schedule of drama, interview, and prison-based actuality. A real-life Orange is the New Black. Exec: Tom Barry.


Web of Lies 13 x 60' (blast! for Investigation Discovery)

Innovative drama-doc about dangerous online interactions. Lead a team of seven directors. Exec: Nick Cory-Wright.


Chinatown 3 x 60' (Films of Record for BBC2)

Gained hard access to hidden stories of British-Chinese; from wealthy elite, to takeaway owners struggling under bankruptcy and violence, to illegal immigrants selling DVDs and cigarettes. Exec: Roger Graef.

Locked-up Abroad: Not without My Baby 60' (raw for Nat Geo)

Drama-doc, shot in Morocco. Heart-wrenching tale of an illegal Egyptian adoption that goes horribly wrong, landing the adoptive mum in prison. Feb-May 2012. Exec: Louise Norman.


Raised Wild: Feral Children 3 x 60' (Dragonfly for Animal Planet)

Drama-doc about children who were raised by animals. Jan 2012. Exec: Sarah Swingler.


Paranormal Witness: Emily the Imaginary Friend 60' (raw for SyFy)

Series premiere of this hit horror/sci-fi series:  a child is tormented by a malevolent friend. Complex art direction, in-camera tricks and CGI. May–Sept 2011. Exec: Bart Layton.


Breakout: Ohio's Most Wanted 60' (raw for Nat Geo, Discovery)

Reconstructs the dramatic break-out and manhunt of one of Ohio's most famous cop-killers. May '09-Jan '10. Exec: Dimitri Doganis.


Breakout: Love Lies Bleeding 60' (raw for Nat Geo, Discovery)

A prison nurse turns criminal when she falls for an inmate. Involved a shoot-out and intimate, emotional scenes. May '09-Jan '10. Exec: Dimitri Doganis.


Banged-Up Abroad: Mexico 60' (raw for five and Nat Geo)

This story of a naïve drug mule was shot in Mexico and the US. Several dramatic scenes were shot in an actual Mexico City prison. Exec: Bart Layton.


Flight 13' (independent dramatic short)

Wrote and directed this darkly funny love story about two suicidal people who meet at an airport car park. Stars Julia Krynke (Spooks) and Nick Raggett (Casualty, Holby City). Premiered at the Los Angeles Comedy Festival.


Five Pound Hollywood 15' (Film London dramatic short)

Wrote and directed this award-winning short about a Fujianese pirate DVD-seller in London, whose home video gets mixed-up in the merchandise. Awarded ITV Best of Bursaries Jury prize, screened in many festivals.


The Hoarder Next Door: Christmas Special 60' (twentytwenty for C4)

Liverpudlian Pauline and antiques-dealer Greg have six weeks to clear out for Christmas. Visually ambitious series. Sept-Nov 2012. Comm Ed: Nick Hornby.


I'm Pregnant with Their Baby 50' (True North for BBC1)

Ten months tracking the stories of young surrogates for infertile couples, from insemination to birth. Funny, complicated, poignant, with home births and home inseminations. “This brilliant doc” - Time Out. Exec: Jess Fowle.


Repossessed 60' (betty for BBC1)

Following the stories of ordinary families facing repossession. Viewing figures of 2.6 million. March-Oct 2008. Exec: David Wise.


Britney: Off the Rails 60' (betty for C4)

An investigation into Britney's dramatic breakdown and her fall from grace as American's pop princess. A cultural turning point in terms of how celebs are covered in the press. April-June 2007. Exec: Liz Warner.


Desperate Virgins 60' (betty for C4)

Humourous, shocking, intimate tale of three people who've gotten well into adulthood without losing their virginity. “A moving film about loneliness and humanity's need for intimacy” - Time Out. Exec: David Wise.


Petnapped 60' (IWC for C4)

A funny-sad tale about a pet detective who drives all her energies into rescuing stolen dogs, while her home, and her marriage, crumble around her. Oct 2005-2006. Exec: Charlotte Moore and Clare Paterson.




MA in Television Documentary Goldsmith's College, University of London BA in English and French Magdalen College, Oxford University II-I

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