Comedy heist thriller The Pay Day, coming to UK Digital Download this December

Buzz, Film

Praxima, in collaboration with Vertical Entertainment, Fryeday Entertainment and Showdown Productions, are excited to announce the release date for their new comedy heist thriller The Pay Day, which comes to UK digital download platforms from 5th December 2022.

Female-led British heist movie The Pay Day stars Kyla Frye (Eastenders, Edge of Tomorrow), Sam Benjamin (Peaky Blinders, The War of the Worlds), Simon Callow (Shakespeare In Love, The Witcher), Vincent Jerome (Waterloo Road, Wonder Woman 84), Marcus Onilude (Ted Lasso), Rae Lim (Avenue 5) and Ellen Thomas (Death in Paradise).

The Pay Day is an independent British heist movie set in a post-pandemic world. The film follows Jenn, a 30-year-old, broke, frustrated, and single IT technician feeling betrayed by the system is offered a lucrative theft job by eccentric crime boss Gates; she decides this is her chance to escape mediocrity. For this life-changing payday, Jenn has to infiltrate a FTSE 100 company office building with a fake identity, override their state-of-the-art security system, hack in and retrieve the data, and then leave without a trace. What could possibly go wrong?

Like with any exciting heist flick, the mission doesn’t exactly go to plan. Jenn overcomes the initial treacherous and nail-biting setbacks and finds her Ocean’s Eleven style groove on the job. But just when she thinks she’s cracked it, a bewitching working-class grifter called George appears and swipes the prize from her. After being wrong-footed, she outsmarts George, but when she accidentally shoots him in the shoulder, both are forced to rethink their tactics.

As they discover they have more in common than they first thought, Jenn will unearth new levels of fearlessness and tenacity as a game of romantically charged cat and mouse ensues, with the lucrative data and their lives on the line…

The Production Story

The Pay Day has a defiant and inspiring underdog story behind it: the newcomer stars of the movie Kyla Frye and Sam Benjamin, wrote it themselves.

Unlike inspirations Damon and Affleck, Michaela Coel, or Sly Stallone, this defiant duo made it independently, without studio help or an established production company.

Frye; a black woman from East London, and Benjamin; a state school lad whose home city is Liverpool, discovered that attending one of the elite private schools or being from a rich upper/middle-class family (aka being ‘posh’) was increasingly more important for UK acting success, than pure craft or talent.

They struggled for a decade, not getting opportunities to even audition for roles they knew they could play. So Frye and Benjamin decided to take action. But they had no idea where to begin.

They both felt that unlike decades ago when British actors from lower income backgrounds like Julie Walters, Michael Caine and Patrick Stewart were given chances to show their talent, today we are in an era where more privileged performers have dominated.The Independent writer Nick Hasted called it the ‘gentrification of acting’. Like Stallone’s Rocky Balboa, Frye and Benjamin didn’t expect any handouts, they just wanted at least an opportunity to show what they could do.

So Frye, Benjamin and director Sam Bradford decided to get a team together. It took 7 long years to get it off the ground. They begged, stole and borrowed. They made a no-budget short. They charmed. They wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote. They worked for free. They took out loans. And even came close to eviction. But in the autumn of 2021, The Pay Day was shot in East London.

They achieved a major coup by bringing BAFTA nominee Simon Callow into the cast, attracted a distribution deal with Vertical Entertainment, and now the movie is set for release…

And true to this challenging journey, though the movie is an unapologetic genre flick with nods to caper classics like Out of Sight and The Italian Job, this picture asks big questions about working-class struggle and the journey of being a person of colour in modern Britain.

The Pay Day will be available on Digital Download from 5th December 2022

Pre-order here: