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Enys Men – Mark Jenkin’s new folk horror film gets a release date

Enys Men, written, directed and photographed by Mark Jenkin, is the second feature from the visionary mind of the Cornish filmmaker, following 2019’s hand-crafted, BAFTA-winning breakout hit Bait. It opens in the UK on 13 January 2023 at BFI Southbank and in cinemas UK-wide.

This mind-bending Cornish folk horror set in 1973 unfolds on an uninhabited island off the Cornish coast. A wildlife volunteer’s daily observations of a rare flower take a dark turn into the strange and metaphysical, forcing both her and viewers to question what is real and what is nightmare. Is the landscape not only alive but sentient?

Shot by Jenkin on grainy 16mm colour film stock and with his trademark post-synched sound, the form feels both innovative and authentic to the period. Filmed on location around the disused tin mines of West Penwith, it is also an ode to Cornwall’s rich folklore and natural beauty.

Mary Woodvine (Poldark, Judge John Deed, Doc Martin), who played Sandra in BAIT, is The Volunteer. She reunites with BAIT co-star Edward Rowe (The Witcher, House of the Dragon) who is The Boatman. Based in West Cornwall, and previously working in theatre, film and television for over 30 years, Mary Woodvine is in almost every scene of the film and gives an astonishing, naturalistic performance, working with minimal dialogue and with the camera following her in extreme close-up.

In the run up to ENYS MEN’s release, Mark Jenkin will undertake a Q&A tour around the UK beginning on 2 January 2023, with a number of dates in Cornwall. Mary Woodvine will be present at some of the dates.

A season, The Cinematic DNA of ENYS MEN, programed by Mark Jenkin, will run at BFI Southbank and on BFI Player throughout January 2023. Including features, documentaries, TV programmes and shorts, the season will give context to ENYS MEN and the inspirations behind it, also giving audiences the opportunity to enjoy some rich and rarely seen content.

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