BAFTA-Winning UK Indie Pic ‘Bait’ Sells Internationally Ahead Of U.S. Release  ©️ Early Day Films

EXCLUSIVE: Bait, Mark Jenkin’s low budget indie feature that was a BAFTA winner on Sunday, has begun racking up international sales following its successful UK theatrical run last year.

The Festival Agency (TFA) has now inked deals on the title for Australia and New Zealand (Vertigo Releasing/Rialto), Scandinavia (Folkets Bio) and Poland (New Horizons Association). Those territories follow the Germany release via Arsenal in October, and come ahead of the domestic bow that is being lined up for this spring.

TFA will handle the U.S. roll out in-house, springboarding it off the recently announced SXSW special event screening of the movie that will be accompanied by a new live score.

BFI Distribution handled the UK rollout, which begin in August and snowballed from modest ambitions to eventually gross more than $500,000. That was a more than stellar result for a super low-budget homegrown movie in a crowded theatrical market where indie releases rarely hold screens for more than a couple of weeks.

In the film, modern-day Cornish fisherman Martin (Edward Rowe) is struggling to buy a boat while coping with family rivalry, an influx of ‘London money’, holiday rentals, and stag parties to his harbor village. The summer season brings simmering tensions between locals and newcomers to a boiling point with tragic consequences.

The pic first screened at Berlin last year, having its North American premiere at New Directors/New Films in New York City and then scooping the audience award at Portugal’s IndieLisboa.

During awards season, producers Linn Waite and Kate Byers won the Breakthrough Producer Award at the British Independent Film Awards. The film was nommed for two BAFTAs last Sunday, winning the Outstanding Debut prize for Jenkin, who also took home the Breakthrough Filmmaker award at the recent London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Leslie Vuchot, CEO of TFA, will continue sales efforts at the EFM in Berlin this month.

“We’re simply ecstatic to have been on this journey with Bait since Summer 2018; this film embodies everything we’ve ever worked and fought for: sincere auteurs and creators that need to have their films shared on the big screen, with a reliance on a fabulous network of brilliant festivals around the world; this film proves we need festivals to help talented filmmakers and authentic voices emerge,” commented Vuchot.

“We love working with the team at TFA. They have proven their unique ability to connect audiences to films that have thrived on the International Festival circuit. Their well-honed intuition for marrying films to audiences is bringing Bait a successful commercial life internationally,” added Waite and Byers.

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