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Lee Cronin's The Hole in the Ground Wins Best Film at FANT: Festival de Cine Fantástico de Bilbao
09 May 2019 : Nathan Griffin
Seana Kerslake in 'The Hole in the Ground'.
Lee Cronin’s psychological horror ‘The Hole in the Ground’ has picked up the award for Best Film at the 25th FANT: Festival de Cine Fantástico de Bilbao in Spain.

The Irish horror fended off tough competition from 17 other films to receive the acclaimed prize and has enjoyed some fantastic reviews since its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival back in February.

Speaking about the achievement, Director Lee Cronin told IFTN:

"It's a really lovely thing to have been awarded Best Film by the Jury at the 25th anniversary Fant Bilbao. There was so much great work on show at the festival. It's a real honour! My thanks go to the festival team and jury, and of course to the wonderful cast, crew and collaborators on The Hole in the Ground without whom the film would never have been made"

Starring Seána Kerslake (‘A Date for Mad Mary’), James Quinn Markey (‘Vikings’), James Cosmo (‘T2 Trainspotting’), Simone Kirby (‘Jimmy’s Hall’), Steve Wall (‘An Klondike’) and Kati Outinen (‘Le Havre’), ‘The Hole in the Ground’ follows Sarah O’Neill (Seána Kerslake) who is trying to escape her broken past by building a new life on the fringes of a backwood rural town with her young son Chris (James Quinn Markey). A terrifying encounter with a mysterious neighbour shatters her fragile security, throwing Sarah into a spiralling nightmare of paranoia and mistrust, as she tries to uncover if the disturbing changes in her little boy are connected to an ominous sinkhole buried deep in the forest that borders their home.

Digital Spy has previously tipped the Irish horror to follow in the footsteps of ‘Hereditary’, ‘The Witch’ and ‘The Babadook’, who all went on to become “some of the most talked-about horrors of the year”, following their premieres at Sundance in previous years.

Watch IFTN talk with director Lee Cronin and lead Seana Kerslake.

The film, which Cronin co-wrote with Stephen Shields shot on location in Dublin, Kildare, and Wicklow and was produced by Conor Barry and John Keville for Savage Productions with Benoit Roland and Ulla Simonen for Wrong Men and MADE.  The film was funded by Screen Ireland, the BAI and Headgear Films with support coming from Wallimages and the Finnish Film Foundation.

The winner was selected by the FANT: Festival de Cine Fantástico de Bilbao Jury that consisted of actress Diana Peñalver, American writer/director/producer Gary Sherman and Rocío Moreno, the director of Fancine – Fantastic Film Festival of Malaga.

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