Struggling to reconcile two opposing images of his dad, a boy finds himself lost in the unnerving vacuum left behind.

  • Reiff Gaskell
  • Rebecca Deane
  • Rebecca Deane
  • Euan Mitchell
    Key Cast
  • Laura Cairns
    Key Cast
  • Alistair Craig
    Key Cast
  • Oscar Livingston
    Key Cast
  • Anssi Tiusanen
    Director of Photography
  • Alexis Galbrun-Thauré
  • Reiff Gaskell
  • Crystalla Lola Serghio
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 27 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 12, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    4,500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Norwich Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 20, 2021
    English Premiere
    Nominated - Best Student
  • Glasgow Short Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    August 20, 2020
    World Premiere
    Nominated - Best Scottish Short
  • British Short Film Awards
    December 3, 2021
    Won: Best Scottish Film / Nominated: Best British, Best Student & Best Score
  • Infinity Film Festival

    Winner - Best Cinematography
Director Biography - Reiff Gaskell

Since leaving as a graduate director from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Reiff Gaskell has both shot, directed & edited works across a range of genres for household names, fashion labels and entertainment companies. Combining together a background in portraiture & camerawork he is a versatile talent with a specialism in drawing out authentic performances with a passion for telling stories that matter.

His debut short Monster, an unnerving tale following a dark discovery dealing with issues of prejudice & sexuality, has been met with acclaim, earning multiple award nominations at BAFTA & BIFA qualifying festivals. It has been nominated for an additional 4 including Best British Film at this years British Short Films Awards.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Borrowing from the works of Hubert Shelby Jr., Darren Aronofosky wrote that by staring into the darkest and unexplored part of oneself, we find the light. Monster is a look into one of societies darkest parts; avoided, overlooked and simplified. A part that you never really need to look far to find. Recent investigations at the National Crime Agency septuple estimates of the number in the UK alone to about one in seventy individuals. And we don't talk about them.

This film is not just about them however. It's about a child. It's about young eyes opened. It's a universally understood story. It packs in difficult, universal themes; betrayal, morality and the limits of familial love. It’s a story depicting a difficult part of growing into adulthood and facing the world for all it’s hard truths and complexity. A tale that everyone can relate to and a story that resonates deeply. The loss of innocence.

Making Monster has been amazing. I am lucky to have found such a great team of collaborators who poured themselves into it. I hope its felt and that this film presents a situation that challenges your conceptions and highlights the nuance that comes part and parcel with human nature, without simplification or clear distinction. I hope you reflect on the titular question and I hope it leaves something with you.

By staring into the dark of the unexplored we can find the light. Hopefully Monster gets people looking. It's a small story in a big world, a small short in a oversaturated market, but we hope it makes the world in some small way brighter.