Private Project

Built to Be

Starring BAFTA Winning actor Adam Deacon & Attack the Block star Alex Esmail.
When A-level student Shray Vishad struggles to deal with the stress of caring for his ailing father while preparing for exams, he turns to marijuana to cope. However, Shray's new dependency threatens his relationship with his traditional Indian father, his friendship with his hard-working classmate Kim, and his chances of going to a prestigious university. Will an intervention by Mr Lynch, Shray's head of year, be enough to help Shray find the right path?

  • Irene Maffei
    RU-486: The Last Option
  • Akash Prasad
  • Akash Prasad
  • Dmitry Iouzyk
  • Adam Deacon
    Key Cast
    "Mr. Lynch"
  • Alex Esmail
    Key Cast
    Attack the Block
  • Akash Prasad
    Key Cast
    Accident Man
  • Samantha Okan
    Key Cast
    The Weekend Movie
  • Balbir Sudera
    Key Cast
    "Mr. Vishad"
    Guest in London
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 24, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, Hindi
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Black Magic URSA Mini
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • NA
    Country: United Kingdom
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Irene Maffei

Irene Maffei was born in Florence, Italy.
She graduated in film studies in Bologna at DAMS University with top grades in 2006.

In Italy, she directed her first short films, including multi-award-winning short film “Tre” ("Best International Women Interest" in New York Independent Film and Video Festival, Best Thriller Noir" in “Il Corto in Genere” festival, in Italy), and music videos, including “Save Me”, for band Eldritch (broadcast on MTV and Rock TV, and awarded as Best Music Video at Orvieto festival, Italy).

She moved to London in 2008, where she directed more short films and music videos. In 2010, she directed her first feature film: RU-486 - The Last Option, which was awarded Best UK Feature Film in Swansea Bay Festival 2011.

As well as directing her own projects, she worked as assistant director on several British feature films. This allowed her to gain an extensive experience of the filmmaking process, and to accumulate a wide range of skills.

Her most recent works as a director includes medium length film "Built To Be", with BAFTA winning actor Adam Deacon and Alex Esmail, as well as music video "The Promise" for the rock band ‘Blind’.

Relevant directing work and latest showreel can be seen on:

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was always passionate about story-telling, and in my early life, I really discovered a specific love for translating words, stories and emotions, into images.
I feel that Cinema is the perfect, most complete form of expression for this purpose: moving image, sound, music allows you to build an entire world from scratch, and to truly bring a story and its characters to life. Since the first time I had the chance to direct, I knew that there would be nothing else quite like it for me.

As a directing style, I particularly like emphasizing the emotional state of a character through slow and fluid camera movements, the use of closeups and extreme closeups for instance is something heavily featured in many of my works.

I’m drawn to cutaways of objects and juxtaposing wide shots to extreme closeups to create an atmospheric ambience.
‘Built to Be’ presented many great opportunities for this visual style: it is a strongly emotionally charged story where characters often confront each other over complex and multi-layered feelings or states of mind. As a director, this gives me a chance to explore and visually express the emotions behind each character and to visually hint to something deeper in each scene rather than it being explicitly said.

One thing that drew me to ‘Built to Be’ when I first read the script was the care and attention to detail that Akash (Writer/Producer) had taken with the characters and the dynamics between them, for instance Shray and his unique relationship with his father was both heartfelt and compelling which I felt breathed more life and realism into the story. As well as this I could see that Indian culture was such a significant factor to the story's overall composition despite the film being set-in Present-day London. As a director I've worked on numerous projects over the years, but I don't believe I’ve worked on anything quite as culture-heavy or unique as Built to Be.

I knew when I read the script it was something I had to take on, if not the for the opportunity to show my style as a director but because I knew it was the sort of the project that doesn’t come around often. When I had found out that Akash was a first-time writer/ producer who'd be acting in this half hour film as well, I knew that the production would stand to benefit hugely from my knowledge and experience I'd accumulated from over a decade of working professionally as a 1st Ad, and director. I understood the story, the core themes of the film and the potential challenges that laid ahead, however; I knew no film is without its risks, and no film is without its rewards.