Private Project


For thirty years, guilt and resentment has held together the relationship of Michael and his father, Albert, with whom he still lives in the family home. When Michael starts a relationship with his boss Valerie and struggles with intimacy, he blurts out a secret he has not revealed to anyone outside his family in decades. Learning that Michael was sexually abused as a child, Valerie rejects him and pushes an already volatile Michael into confronting his past and the part which Albert played in it.

  • Victoria Hayford
  • Victoria Hayford
  • Victoria Hayford
  • Mark Forester-Evans
    Key Cast
  • Jestyn Phillips
    Key Cast
  • Anne Stafford
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 43 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 11, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Sony F3
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Bute Street Film Festival 2019
    United Kingdom
    March 17, 2019
    Winner of Best Breakout film
  • London International Story First Film Festival 2018
    United Kingdom
    Nominated for Best Drama
  • 14th Kinofilm Manchester International Short Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 21, 2017
    UK Premier
Director Biography - Victoria Hayford

Following an internship at the British Film Institute, Victoria enrolled for the MA Screenwriting course at London College of Communication - University of the Arts London. Her graduation feature script LOWRARCHY was selected for development under the pan-European film initiative Babylon, taking her to the Rotterdam Film Festival.

An alumna of the Berlinale Talent Campus where she wrote and directed a science fiction short E.D.D.I. currently racking up close to 30,000 views on YouTube, Victoria was also commissioned by the former UK Film Council under its Digital Shorts scheme to write and direct a ten-minute short. The final film QUIETUS was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and included in the Shorts Corner programme there.

Prior to enrolling on the London Film School MA Filmmaking programme, Victoria was teaching introduction to screenwriting to adult learners whilst continuing her own writing projects, a couple of which were shortlisted by Channel 4 and the BBC.

Her graduation film SOFTLY SOFTLY CATCHY MONKEY is a short version of a feature project she is currently developing.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Something which rarely receives media coverage, suddenly the subject of child sex abuse – historic or otherwise – is prevalent and in the news on a weekly, if not daily basis. New cases come to light with alarming regularity and there is seemingly renewed vigour in the way the authorities mount investigations and pursue alleged perpetrators – unseen before until now.
I was intrigued by the sea change. What effect might the constant barrage of stories and claims similar to their own have on survivors and their loved ones?
Would survivors be able to keep ‘forgetting’ (as most are often forced to do for years or decades) when the media is filled with constant reminders of stories like their own? Alternatively, would the sea change help survivors find their voice which is usually silence by abusers and a system which sometimes fails them?
And of the perpetrators, how much longer could they live with anonymity and the security afforded to them by their scared and guilt-ridden victims who might now speak up?
This new climate prompted me to explore the world, story and characters of Softly Softly Catchy Monkey, who are compelled to face a past which threatens to unleash itself.