Private Project

Who I Am

'Who I Am' is a drama short film based on true events, with an original script written by Monika Wilczynska. It is a coming of age tale about Elijah, a young transgender teenager from a very religious background, who has to try to reconcile their identity with their faith and their family’s expectations of them. With the help of anti-conformist Lisbeth and their friends, Elijah learns not to compromise their own integrity in face of prejudice and adversity. The film inquires: can an LGBTQ-identifying person benefit from religion whilst staying true to who they are? Why is it important to tackle identity in regards to religion? How restrictive is our perception of spirituality and divinity? Who I Am does not attempt to answer these questions, but it aspires to open the dialogue to the public on subjects that have been under-represented or taboo for far too long.

  • Monika Wilczynska
  • Monika Wilczynska
  • Monika Wilczynska
  • Laura Sophie Helbig
  • Paul O'Dea
    Key Cast
  • Adele James
    Key Cast
  • Andrew McKenzie
    Key Cast
  • Dominica Warburton
    Key Cast
  • Katie Anjuli Singh
    Key Cast
  • Tiffany-Ellen Robinson
    Key Cast
  • Marc Aldrigde
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, LGBT, LGBTQIA, Religion, Narrative, Fiction
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Montreal World Film Festival
    August 31, 2016
    North American and Canadian Premiere
    Student Short Film Official Selection
  • Out On Film Atlanta gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender LGBT Film Festival
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    September 26, 2016
    Audience Award for Best Trans Short
  • Queer Kampala International Film Festival

    African Premiere
    Short Film Official Selection
  • STAMPED: Pensacola LGBT Film Festival
    Pensacola, FL
    United States
    December 3, 2016
    Official Selection - Short Film
  • Rainbow Visions Film Festival
    November 5, 2016
    Official Selection - Short Film
  • Queen City Film Festival
    Cumberland, MD
    United States
    October 9, 2016
    Official Selection - Short Film
  • Q Fest: San Antonio International LGBT Film Festival
    San Antonio, TX
    United States
    October 15, 2016
    Official Selection : Short Film
  • Depth Of Field International Film Festival
    Nassau, DE
    United States
    September 19, 2016
    Jury Awards for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead
  • Let's All Be Free Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 15, 2016
    United Kingdom Premiere
    Official Selection - Short Film
  • Sedona International Film Festival
    Sedona, Arizona
    United States
    February 21, 2017
    Runner Up - Best Student Short Film
Director Biography - Monika Wilczynska

Monika Wilczynska, born in France and raised in Poland, has a theatre, literature and philosophy background and has graduated in July 2016 with a Honourable First Class Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film, TV and Digital Media Production from Regent's University London, having achieved the highest results in the history of her course. As a Scholar, she has benefited from EU-sponsored film development courses all over Europe. During her studies, she has worked on over 25 productions, in the roles of director, screenwriter, production manager and sound supervisor. She has collaborated with organisations such as VICE UK, Frieze Art Fair and Desmond Tutu Foundation. Currently based in London, she works as freelance director, screenwriter and producer. Her work concentrates around under-represented communities and includes campaigns, commercials, music videos and short films. Monika is eager to team up with an international group of extremely talented individuals who are committed to making a positive impact on the world and is always on the lookout for new projects.

You can find out more about Monika's work on her official website:

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

As a filmmaker, I am interested in the subject of identity, and in how different human beings identify themselves versus how they are seen by society and portrayed by the media. Religion and spirituality are also an interest of mine because we are wired in such a way that our actions spring from our beliefs. Entire social, political, and economical structures are - at their core - based in religious teachings or, at least, in interpretations thereof. We are affected by them whether we ourselves are atheist, agnostic or members of a particular religion, which is why it is so crucial to encourage an open dialogue on subjects which have been deemed ‘taboo’ for far too long. Looking at life through the perspective of a transgender person raised in a deeply religious family can help many people in a similar circumstance to stand up for who they are. It can also help religious communities question what they have been taught without the need to be blasphemous or denying of their faith.

Many LGBTQ-identifying religious people are still being oppressed and feel the need to alter or repress their real self in order to be accepted by their surroundings. ‘Who I Am’ aims to raise awareness of the struggles which are encountered not only by members of the Transgender Community, but by anyone who feels that they do not fit ‘the norms’ established by our society. The way in which the project has been structured reflects the message broadcasted by the film : we have united a group of religiously, ethnically, and culturally diverse individuals, all of whom want to create a more open-minded, accepting, and loving society through their work.

We are continuously being told that we are separate, that we don’t matter and that we cannot change the circumstances in which we live. But if you look at Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King or ‘Tank Man’ in Tienamen Square, you see clearly just how much even the smallest action can change. The more we realize that, the more we can achieve in a shorter amount of time. The first step to take is to put an end to all sorts of prejudice; especially one based on an individual’s ethnicity, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation. ’Who I Am’ aims to help do just that.