The Welsh western hoping to make waves in the USA
A Welsh feature film is set for a US release next month – with a new title.
The Toll, released in the UK in August last year, has been picked up by Hollywood distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films and will be released in America on 18 March under the new title Tollbooth.
The black comic crime thriller is the feature debut for both director Ryan Andrew Hooper and screenwriter Matt Redd, and was funded through Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Cinematic scheme, alongside Lee Haven-Jones’ Gwledd/The Feast and Catherine Linstrum’s Nuclear.
The title has been changed in the US to avoid confusion with a Canadian horror film of the same name, released in 2020.
Michael Smiley (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) stars as a former criminal working solo shifts in the quietest toll booth in Wales, hiding from his past where nobody ever thought to look – Pembrokeshire.
When he finally gets rumbled, word of his whereabouts gets out and his enemies head west for revenge. Annes Elwy (BBC’s Little Women) plays a young local traffic cop whose investigation into a simple robbery finds her heading for the booth at exactly the wrong time.
Also starring are Iwan Rheon (Game Of Thrones), Paul Kaye (After Life), Gwyneth Keyworth (Black Mirror), Steve Oram (Sightseers), and Julian Glover (Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade).
Hefin Rees, known for playing Rhys in popular S4C teen drama Pam Fi Duw? in the nineties, also appears – his first on screen performance in two decades.
The film was well received on its UK release, being described as “a remarkable first feature… A brilliantly told, tightly paced Welsh-western” (The Hollywood News), “viciously entertaining” (The Upcoming), “excellent” (Loud and Clear) and “a triumph” (HeyUGuys).
Audiences in the UK can watch the film now through BFI Player, Sky, Amazon, Apple and on other online platforms.
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This is a clever, brilliant, funny, lovely film. Excellent performances from all the cast (especially Annes Elwy), well-written by Matt Redd, very good direction. The location shots do give a rather peculiar impression of the geography of Pembrokeshire but in a sense that adds to the atmosphere. Loved it, and it is certainly in my top-20 films of all time. I’ll watch this again, and again.
Have seen the trailer, looks superb, can’t wait to see it.
This looks a good film, reminds me of ‘Happy Now’ also a first effort, both funny and violent in equal parts. After twenty years it is time it had another showing…There should be a Welsh film festival…
Oes fersiwn yn Gymraeg? Does dim ffilmiau Cymraeg rhagor y dyddiau ma