General Public
Bad Soil
World Premiere

Bad Soil

9 minutes
A Welsh farmer has a difficult decision to make when his wayward brother turns up at the family farm one afternoon demanding to borrow a shotgun.
Genres: Thriller
Content Warnings: Adult Language, Graphic Violence
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Rhodri, our protagonist, goes about his farming duties at dawn. Later that morning, he waves his wife and child off in the car as they head out for the day.

Shortly afterwards, as Rhodri is out driving his tractor in a nearby field, he spots a car approaching. The car parks up opposite the farmhouse and a man gets out and walks across the field towards Rhodri. As he approaches the tractor we see that the man is bruised and bloodied. This is Rhys, Rhodri's younger brother.

Rhys demands to borrow a shotgun, and he and Rhodri get into an argument. During the course of their argument we learn that Rhys was beaten up that morning by a man called Gavin Huntley, to whom he owes a significant amount of money. Rhys reveals that, having not been able to extract the debt from him, Gavin has threatened to come seeking payment up at the farm. Just then, Rhodri notices a white pickup truck speeding towards the farm in the distance. Realising the danger, he grabs his brother and marches him to a nearby barn, where the shotgun cabinet is located.

Once inside the barn, Rhodri gives Rhys an opportunity to take the shotgun, but Rhys bottles it, leaving Rhodri to sort out his brother's mess out on his own. He grabs the shotgun and heads towards the farmhouse.

Gavin pulls up in front of the farmhouse. Rhodri threatens Gavin with the shotgun, who appears unperturbed. During the course of their stand-off, we learn that Rhys has been lying to his brother : he told Gavin that he owned half the farm, presumably to get out of a further beating, when in fact the farm was left entirely to Rhodri by the father, on account of Rhys being untrustworthy. Gavin is there to claim his stake in the farm by way of payment for Rhys' debt.

Deciding that Rhodri doesn't pose any kind of serious threat, Gavin gets out of the car and walks towards him, demanding he put down the shotgun. Feeling that his farm, his wife and his child are in serious danger, and with a rush of blood to the head under intense pressure, Rhodri pulls the trigger, killing Gavin instantly.

Rhys reappears from where he's been hiding and tries to take control of the situation, barking orders at his brother. Overwhelmed with emotion, Rhodri's horror at what he's done morphs into fury with his brother, whose actions have brought so much chaos to his doorstep once again. Rhodri raises the shotgun to his brother's head; Rhys is facing the other way and is unaware.

Cut to black.
Studio: Alex Priestley Film
Producers: Alex Priestley
From: GB
Produced In: GB
Directors: Alex Priestley
Writers: Alex Priestley
Lead Actors: Berwyn Pearce
Supporting Actors: Tomos EamesSimon Holland Roberts
Key Crew: Sy Turner
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Carmarthen Bay Film Festival 2023
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