The picture-postcard idyll of the Cornwall fishing village is misleading. While fishing used to be a way of supporting oneself, wealthy London tourists have now descended and are displacing the locals, whose livelihood is thus threatened. The relationship between brothers Steven and Martin is also strained. Martin is a fisherman without a boat, since Steven started using it for far more lucrative tours for all the day-trippers. They’ve sold the family cottage and now it seems that the final battle to be fought is that with the new owners over the parking space next to the sea. Yet the situation soon gets out of hand, and not just because of the wheel clamp.
Bait is a black-and-white film shot on hand-processed 16mm. Numerous close-ups of fish, nets, lobsters, wellington boots, knots and catch baskets bring to mind the theory of a montage of attractions. The depiction of the different social strata – one could speak of class relations – is also reminiscent of the tradition of social realism in British cinema. Above all, however, a whole lot of current political relevance is waiting to be discovered beneath the different layers of film historical references contained in the images.
by Mark Jenkin
with Edward Rowe, Simon Sheperd, Mary Woodvine, Giles King, Isaac Woodvine, Chloe Endean, Jowan Jacobs, Georgia Ellery, Stacey Guthrie, Tristan Sturrock, Janet Thirlaway, Morgan Val Baker, Martin Ellis
United Kingdom 2019 English 88’ Black/White World premiere


  • Edward Rowe (Martin Ward)
  • Simon Sheperd (Tim Leigh)
  • Mary Woodvine (Sandra Leigh)
  • Giles King (Steven Ward)
  • Isaac Woodvine (Neil Ward)
  • Chloe Endean (Wenna Kowalski)
  • Jowan Jacobs (Hugo Leigh)
  • Georgia Ellery (Katie Leigh)
  • Stacey Guthrie (Liz Stewart)
  • Tristan Sturrock (Brian Rikard)
  • Janet Thirlaway (Mrs Peters)
  • Morgan Val Baker (Husband)
  • Martin Ellis (Billy Ward)


Written and Directed by Mark Jenkin
Cinematography Mark Jenkin
Editing Mark Jenkin
Music Mark Jenkin
Sound Design Daniel Thompson
Production Design Mae Voogd
Costumes Mae Voogd
Producers Kate Byers, Linn Waite

World sales

The Festival Agency

Mark Jenkin

Born in 1976. Since 1997, he has made more than 50 short films. In 2012, he wrote the "Silent Landscape Dancing Grain 13 Film Manifesto", which comprises 13 rules that he follows when making his own films.

Filmography (selection)

2001 Golden Burn; 69 min. 2007 The Midnight Drives; 95 min. 2011 Happy Christmas; 109 min. 2016 A Forest; 82 min. 2019 Bait

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019