In The Making, Longlist - Short Film - Fiction
Shortlist - Short Film - Fiction


Toby Wharton

Fuyoh Films & Joi Productions

Held is inspired by my own personal experience, when I was stabbed at the age of 17 on my way home from college. The film is an exploration of the shame I felt for not being able to defend myself and the great lengths I went to in order to hide what had happened to me. As well as Held being a personal story and specific to my experience as a young man growing up in London, I hope it will resonate universally. I think most of us have a dangerous tendency to take responsibility, even blame ourselves, for situations in which we have been hurt and abused, when, in reality, it was out of our control. At its core this film is about the shame of being a victim. Making Held has been a great learning experience for me. I already knew that realism was where I felt most at home and this process has allowed me to really grapple with that language. I’ve come away with a deeper understanding of what simplicity means to me as a filmmaker and how important it is to continually be stripping things back.

Toby is a writer and director from South East London. He is passionate about creating intimate, character-driven stories with a social commentary. Throughout his teenage years, Toby was heavily involved in UK Garage music, performing as an MC on pirate radio and in clubs. He then went on to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In 2012, Toby co-wrote and played the lead in the critically acclaimed play, FOG, supported by the Arts Council England and published by Methuen Drama. In 2018, his first short film, Master of Ceremonies, was nominated for Best UK Short at East End Film Festival and was awarded runner up for Best British Short at KinoFilm, Manchester. His second short, Held, was funded by BFI Network and executive produced by BIFA-nominated Joy Gharoro‐Akpojotor. His upcoming short, Exchange, is due to shoot early next year. Toby has regularly taught and directed in a number of institutions, including: Bronzefield Women’s Prison, RADA and the University of Northampton.