West Sussex film will focus on representation of women with autism

Bognor Regis film-maker Toby Loxton is fundraising towards an important film he intends to make about the representation of women with autism.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 9:00 am
Bognor Regis film-maker Toby Loxton
Bognor Regis film-maker Toby Loxton

Originally from Hassocks, Toby is based at the Bognor campus of the University of Chichester where he is studying digital film production and screen writing. Toby has been a film-maker for the past five years with ties to the Oska Bright Film Festival, through the non-profit organisation Carousel which helps to create a platform for learning-disabled film-makers.

Toby has also been running his own YouTube channel for the past five years and is now focusing on a short film, The Railway Woman, which he has written and will direct.

The project is currently in the pre-production phase which includes raising £5,500. You can support the project by donating on www.therailwaywoman.com/fundraising. The aim is start filming the week beginning February 22 2021, and the hope is that the film – which is Toby’s university dissertation – will be ready within two to three months.

“My idea for the film came from the main character herself. The main character is called Alice and she is a young woman with a deep passion for steam locomotives, but she is autistic and queer, and given those sorts of things that can hinder her, you can understand that working on a heritage railway is very difficult. It is a very male-dominated environment, which is one of the issues that I wanted to bring up in the film. This world has got so much progression, but there are still many areas of sexism and homophobia and being judgemental and racist… and I understand that. I used to work on a heritage railway.”

Toby, who is autistic and identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community, intends the location to be representative of all the environments where it is still a struggle – something he believes comes down to laziness when it comes to wanting or trying to understand.

“I came up with the character of Alice back in 2018. Me and a friend came up with the character to use for another project, but I thought it would be cool to showcase this particular character. I thought it would be good to centre a film around her.”

Toby has already cast the piece, two main characters and three supporting characters. He is aiming for a film which will be ten minutes long.

More details on http://www.therailwaywoman.comThe film is TFL Creative Media’s latest and most ambitious short film so far. TFL Creative Media was founded by Toby in December 2015 creating a platform to share his creative endeavours.

“The Railway Woman is vital to be told as nearly one per cent of the UK population is autistic, yet there is a lack of representation of autism in the media from an autistic character’s point of view. This film aims to change that.

“We want to address the representation of women with autism in the media striving to steer away from the age-old stereotypes and lack of representation.

“Studies show women and girls with autism are more likely to mask their autistic features than men and boys, therefore resulting in women often going undiagnosed at least until their early adult life.

“It is time this cycle came to an end and we at TFL Creative Media want to shed light on this shadowed issue.”