Mark Jenkin

United Kingdom, 2019 / 87 min / English OV with French subt. / drama

A tradition-loving, Cornish fisherman takes it upon himself to fight off gentrification.

Martin Ward is a Cornish fisherman, without a boat. His brother Steven has re-purposed their father’s vessel as a tourist tripper, driving a wedge between the brothers. With their childhood home now a get-away for London money, Martin is displaced to the estate above the picturesque harbour. Desperate, he declares war on the Leighs, the family that bought his family’s house. As his struggle to restore his own family to their traditional place creates increasing friction with tourists and locals alike, a tragedy at the heart of the family changes his world.

Bait is a feature film shot on 16mm black and white Kodak film and processed by hand. Captured in Cornwall, it tells a stark story rooted in local culture and community, and how these marginal places are facing up to a changing world. A hand-crafted monochrome expression of a life under threat. Not a black and white story, but one pulsing away within the grey areas.

Fri 06/03 18:30 Cinémathèque EN OV with FR subt. Public
Sat 07/03 18:30 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR subt. Public
Wed 11/03 14:00 Cinémathèque EN OV with FR subt. Public

Bait is a history lesson in film technique, a contemporary tale about the fault lines in British society and one of the standout debut features of the year.” Kaleem Aftab, Cineuropa, 01/07/2019

“Ultimately a small tale of the struggles of ordinary working-class people against the tourist trade, in a wider political context, the film exists in a deeply contemporary space. Through its filmmaking craft, this debut remarkably operates in a timeless space.” Alasdair Bayman, CineVue, 29/08/2019

“Cornish film-maker Mark Jenkin’s breakthrough feature is a thrillingly adventurous labour of love – a richly textured, rough-hewn gem in which form and content are perfectly combined. A refreshingly authentic tale of tensions between locals and tourists in a once-thriving fishing village, it’s an evocative portrait of familiar culture clashes in an area where traditional trades and lifestyles are under threat. […] It’s a genuine modern masterpiece, which establishes Jenkin as one of the most arresting and intriguing British film-makers of his generation.

“The weirdness of Bait can’t be overestimated, like FW Murnau directing an episode of EastEnders. […] What an intriguing and unexpectedly watchable film. Bait is an experiment – and a successful one.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 09/02/2019

“Shot on black and white 16mm film, later hand-processed by director Jenkin, and with a soundscape fully created in post-production, Bait harmonises every element of cinema to create a shiver-inducing ambience which lends heft to the emotions at play. Jenkin (a prolific short-maker) uses his social set-up to create a symbolic battle that resonates in a post-austerity UK where the gulf between rich and poor only seems to grow, yet his characters are shaded by enough humanity to make their reactions unpredictable. Tensions are often undercut by scalding comedy. […] a story where personal sorrow and absurd humour bleeds into the complexity of community, making for a timely social portrait and a timeless work of art.” Sophy Monks Kaufman, Empire, 28/08/2019

  • Grand Prix – International Competition, T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival, 2019 (Poland)
  • Audience Award, T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival, 2019 (Poland)
  • Best Director, Stockholm Film Festival, 2019 (Sweden)
  • Audience Award for the Best Feature Film, IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival, 2019 (Portugal)
  • Breakthrough Producer for Linn Waite & Kate Byers, British Independent Film Awards, 2019 (United Kingdom)
Cast & Credits
Edward Rowe, Giles King, Mary Woodvine, Simon Shepherd, Chloe Endean, Janet Thirlaway, Isaac Woodvine, Martin Ellis, Jowan Jacobs, Georgia Ellery, Molly Hawkins
Mark Jenkin
Mark Jenkin
Daniel Thompson
Mae Voogd
Mark Jenkin
Early Day Films
The Festival Agency

Mark Jenkin is a British filmmaker born in 1976 in Cornwall.  He started making films at the age of 15 and attended Bournemouth University from 1995-1998. He is an associate lecturer in Film at Falmouth University and is the author of Silent Landscape Dancing Grain 13, a film manifesto which promotes the aesthetic and practical benefits of handmade celluloid work. As a member of the prestigious Newlyn Society of Artists his short-form work has been exhibited in galleries in the UK and in mainland Europe. His handmade short film works have been promoted by the British Council since 2016 with The Road to Zennor (2017) being awarded the Best Experimental Film prize at the London Short Film Festival in 2017, while The Essential Cornishman (2016) received an Honourable Mention at the Berlin Experimental Film Festival the same year.

  • 2019 – Bait
  • 2018 – David Bowie is Dead (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2017 – The Road to Zennor (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2016 – Dear Marianne (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2016 – The Essential Cornishman (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2016 – Enough to Fill Up an Eggcup (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2015 – Bronco’s House (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2013 – Cape Cornwall Calling/All the White Horses (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2013 – St Buryan to Lamorna/Orange (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2011 – Happy Christmas
  • 2009 – Aurora’s Kiss (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2008 – Another Horizon (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2007 – The Midnight Drives
  • 2004 – New Reed (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2004 – The Rabbit
  • 2003 – The Man Who Needed a Traffic Light (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2002 – Golden Burn