Director Biography – Marnie Baxter, Nicola Stuart-Hill (BAD MOTHER)

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Marnie Baxter graduated from the Royal Conservatoire, Scotland in 1999 with a BA in Acting and has since enjoyed a variety of roles in film, television and theatre. Recent credits include: ITV’s Coronation Street, Dancing Shoes, BBC’s Shetland, Doctors, The Tormented.

Nicola Stuart-Hill has been an actor for over a decade, and trained at Mountview Academy. She graduated with a degree in Creative Writing & English Literature in 2018. Her acting credits include: BBC’s Thirteen, Hetty & Feather, Excalibur Rising, Afro Punk Girl.

Director Statement

Bad Mother began it’s life after Marnie spent an afternoon in Dorset with her young children. For a short period of time she really believed that her children had been abducted by a stranger she had met on the beach, and it haunted her for years. She told Nicky the story one evening over a glass (or two) of wine, and here we are, six months later with a script.
The film is about society’s lack of trust in strangers, and how this affects our sense of community. How quickly Grace regrets leaving her children with this stranger for ten minutes. And how quickly she decides that Jenny has planned something terrible. Would our grandparents have had the same fear about leaving their children? Is it because in today’s world we are told that we must watch our children at all times, that strangers are a threat, not an opportunity. We don’t allow our children out of our sight – they can’t play out in the streets, or go to the park alone as it’s considered by society to be unsafe. Is Grace’s reaction a sign of the times?
It is also about being a mum – the intuition we have as parents, we are told, is often what keeps our children safe. We talk about a mother’s instinct, or our gut reactions. A mother’s intuition is never wrong. But what if we do get it wrong? And as the sense of community within society decreases, the isolation that one can feel, especially when dealing with small children day in day out, can only ever increase.
The film doesn’t give us answers. It’s a roller coaster ride for the audience as much as it is for our central character. Our hope is that our audience will leave the film thinking about how we see strangers in the world today, wondering what they would have done in that situation. Was Grace right to leave? What were Jenny’s real intentions? And is it ever possible to trust a stranger in the world today?

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