Producer: Xenia Glen
Writer/Director: Daniel Bayle
Length: 90 mins
"A teenage delinquent, forced into being a drug mule by a local dealer, finds himself on a surreal road trip with his younger brother who is desperate to live up to his sibling’s expectations.
FOXHOLE is a contemporary, neo-noir, crime story exploring the ideas of toxic masculinity, violence, coming of age and the desire to escape one’s reality. The film explores how certain parts of society have only the illusion of choice, how some fates can be preordained due to generations of systematic oppression and social inequality. It examines how this impacts the family unit and how it can shape character at a formative age. Foxhole couches these themes inside the film-noir genre and allows action and circumstance to reveal the inner lives of the protagonists, exploring oppression, inequality and isolation within underrepresented groups.
Kal (18, mixed race) has been tasked with shaping his little brother Fin (12, a runt, mixed race) into a man. Kal takes the boy with him as he collects and sells scrap metal in the wet, dissolving city. In a continuing attempt to toughen him up, Kal exposes Fin to various underground elements of the local community, namely urban fox-hunting, where directionless youths are turning a profit by selling the skins of these “immigrant” animals.
Unknown to his family, Kal is being coerced into dealing drugs by Ivan (their mother’s lover) and when a deal goes south and Kal looses the drugs and the money, Ivan murders the thieves and in the process implicates Kal in the crime. Now on the hook, Kal is forced into being Ivan’s mule to collect new drugs out of the city. While on the road Kal finds that Fin has stowed away in Ivan’s car and being too late to turn back, Kal must continue on with his little brother in tow, where little Fin presses and challenges Kal on his life of crime.
During this strange road trip into the rural countryside the brothers experience a brief respite from the entropy of the city. However when the boys cross paths with a group of Irish gypsies and what may or may not be Marilyn Monroe, an innocent hunting excursion takes a tragic turn when Fin is unable to live up to his brother's expectations.
This is the journey of Kal and Fin. The elder’s acceptance of unwanted responsibility as father figure, his inability to escape the dangerous life of crime he has fallen into, contrasted by little Fin's desperation to gain his brother's respect and acknowledgment of love. It is ultimately Fin who takes drastic and deadly measures to set his older brother free and in turn "toughen up".
After securing initial development funding from Arts Council England, we ran workshops with youths across the UK to develop the story around real life experiences, Foxhole is currently at the third draft stage. We plan to film in North Yorkshire to capitalise on the dichotomy between the city and the rural beauty surrounding it; we aim to make Foxhole for £500,000.
XENIA GLEN - Producer
Xenia was recently selected as the only producer on Encounters 'Widening the Lens' filmmaker traineeship scheme, for which she is receiving mentorship from producer Nicky Bentham at Neon Films. In 2017 Xenia was awarded a John Brabourne Award to develop her slate of films, including FOXHOLE by Daniel Bayle.
DANIEL BAYLE - Writer and Director
Daniel trained as an actor at LAMDA, graduating from the BA course in 2004. In 2014 Daniel wrote, directed and produced the award winning short film 'I Only Have Eyes For You' starring Screen International Star of Tomorrow McKell David (iBoy) and Elizabeth Boag (Chasing Robert Barker), the film premiered at the London Short Film Festival in 2015.
I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU was written and directed by Daniel Bayle. It stars Elizabeth Boag, McKell David, Shia Miller, Shaquille Ali-Yebuah and Ntonga Mwanza.
The film premiered at the London Short Film Festival in 2015 and won the Best Actor Award at St Albans the same year.
"I Only Have Eyes For You is an excellent film. It has the risky feel that you get with Michael Haneke and Steve McQueen, tensions about control. It is very cinematic and beautifully performed.”
Mark Cousins, Sight & Sound
“Its keen eye for an image and beautifully judged air of romantic melancholy clearly mark all those involved as talents to watch.”
Matthew Thrift, Little White Lies.
“I Only Have Eyes For You is sleek confident and alluring. A real head-turner.”
Tim Robey, The Telegraph