Wholly original Irish film gets prestigious premiere at Sundance

by Rachel Darcy

There’s an Irish influence at Sundance Film Festival this year, with an Irish-made film getting its premiere at the prestigious US event.

Horror movie The Hole in The Ground is co-written by Stephen Shields and director Lee Cronin, and features an all-star Irish cast in the form of Seana Kerslake, James Quinn Markey and Simone Kirby, and is produced by Conor Barry and John Keville.

Speaking to Dublin Gazette ahead of jetting off to the festival in Utah, Clondalkin native Shields said: “Lee [Cronin] sent me over a script he was working on, and it just gave me so many ideas.

“I bounced them back off him, and eventually we started collaborating on a project that turned into what is now Hole In The Ground.”

The movie, which began production in 2016 before wrapping up in 2017, revolves around a young woman, Sarah O’Neill (Kerslake) who is trying to start a new life with her son in a rural town.

A terrifying encounter shatters the security Sarah feels in her home, spiralling into a nightmare of paranoia as she tries to uncover if the changes in her son (James Quinn Markey) are connected to an ominous sinkhole in the forest bordering their home.

Sundance is the largest independent festival in the US, taking place annually in Utah. It’s been the launchpad for several smash-hit indie movies, including Get Out, Little Miss Sunshine and the Blair Witch Project.

The Irish film movie has already sparked horror fans’ interest, as well as critical interest in an Irish film that veers off into atypical content.

Shields added: “It’s a bit surreal to be at Sundance, I’m still not fully sure if I believe it!

“The movie got picked up to be distributed by A24 Entertainment [also a distributor for Lady Bird] in the States, which is huge for us as well.

“They were behind another horror, Hereditary, and that’s done so, so well after premiering at Sundance last year, so I can’t wait for that either.

“We’ve got Wild Card distribution behind us back in Ireland, and their films always do great, so we’re really excited about the future of the film.”

The Hole in The Ground will be released in Irish cinemas on March 1 and is sure to be a must-see for all horror fans and film buffs alike.

Related Articles