NI Thriller Set for Sundance Premiere

Bad Day for the Cut, the feature debut from Six Mile Hill Productions, will screen at the world famous film festival held each January in Utah

A new film made in Northern Ireland will have its world premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival this January in Park City, Utah.

Bad Day for the Cut is the debut feature-length production from local company Six Mile Hill, and follows a middle-aged Irish farmer's pursuit of revenge in Belfast after his mother, whom he still lived with, is savagely murdered.

The thriller, directed by Chris Baugh and produced by Brendan Mullin and Katy Jackson, has been selected for a Midnight Screening at the prestigious festival, which showcases some of most challenging but rewarding film experiences from around the world.

Cast members include Nigel O’Neill (The SecretGame of Thrones) as principal character Donal alongside Susan Lynch (Happy ValleyMonroe), Stuart Graham (The Frankenstein ChroniclesThe Secret) and rising stars Jozef Pawłowski (Jack Strong) and Anna Próchniak (Warsaw 44).

The screenplay, written by Baugh and Mullin, was developed through Northern Ireland Screen’s New Talent Focus scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. It is the third film from Northern Ireland Screen’s New Talent Focus scheme to premiere at an international festival.

The Survivalist, written and directed by Stephen Fingleton, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015. Fingleton went on to win the BIFA Best Debut Director and was BAFTA nominated for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.

A Patch of Fog, the feature directorial debut from Michael Lennox, who won a BAFTA and was Oscar nominated for short film Boogaloo and Graham, premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 with the scriptwriters Michael McCartney and John Cairns nominated for BIFA Best Debut Screenwriter in 2016.

Baugh and Mullin's first Six Mile Hill production, short horror, Boys from County Hell, picked up Best Irish Short at the Kerry International Film Festival 2012. Most recently they made short kidnap thriller The Captors, selected as part of the Northern Ireland Screen and BFI Shorts to Features Programme.

Bad Day for the Cut was shot entirely in Northern Ireland with funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI and the BFI.

'For an independent filmmaker, the Sundance Film Festival has an almost mythical status, so going out there with our first movie is incredibly exciting,' said Baugh 'It’s also a testament to our amazingly skilled collaborators, both in front of and behind the camera.'

Mullin added: 'We would like to thank our amazingly talented cast and crew and everyone who helped bring Bad Day for the Cut to the screen and also a special thanks to Northern Ireland Screen for giving us the opportunity to realise our debut feature. It is an incredible privilege to have the world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.'

Richard Williams, CEO, Northern Ireland Screen said: 'We've known for a long time that Chris and Brendan were talented - we could see it in early projects like Boys from County Hell, now the industry is going to find out too. It’s extremely exciting and well deserved that an A-list festival such as the Sundance Film Festival has chosen to champion their debut feature Bad Day for the Cut. It is also a brilliant validation of our New Talent Focus Scheme which supported the film. The Midnight Screening audience at the Sundance Film Festival is in for a real treat.'

Northern Ireland audiences should expect to see the film screen closer to home later in 2017.