Punk princess and cult actress Toyah has been visiting the Isle of Wight this week, filming in Freshwater Bay and on Ventnor beach.

She stars in a new short film, Weightless, produced by Ventnor resident Rowena Amos and her film company 9 of Cups Productions.

It is written by Lewes based playwright Louise Monaghan, previous winner of the coveted Papatango Theatre prize, and directed by Lois Norman who is known for her award-winning art-house work and stories from female perspectives.

The film has a host of well-known Isle of Wight names attached to it, stills photographer Gianpaolo Mario Giancovich, musician JC Grimshaw, and Angelina Grimshaw working with the crew on costumes. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Rowena said: “It’s an honour that Louise asked me to produce her film. As a writer I have worked with her for several years at Southwark Playhouse, and her scripts are always beautiful, powerful and provoking.

"Although this is a simple story, half of the film is set in the sea. Toyah was incredible, she was so dedicated to the role and in the week before undertook a schedule of both cold-water and sea swimming to prepare.

"It was really challenging filming in the sea, Toyah was pushed to the limits giving this performance, she did an amazing job.

"Toyah told me she really loves the Isle of Wight and is looking forward to coming back for a short holiday in Ventnor once her Anthem tour is complete.”

The script for Weightless has already won several awards including the 2022 London Story Prize.

It tells the story of Maureen, a woman alone on a beach, facing her inner demons and battle with her body. It’s a personal theme for writer Louise Monaghan, who was anorexic as a younger woman.

“Anorexia is one of the biggest mental health killers in the UK, and it’s a lifelong struggle. It never really goes away, and that’s something which just isn’t openly discussed,” she said.

Isle of Wight County Press: Toyah filming on the Isle of Wight. Pictures by Gianpaolo Mario Giancovich.Toyah filming on the Isle of Wight. Pictures by Gianpaolo Mario Giancovich. (Image: Gianpaolo Mario Giancovich)

Lois said: “It is really unusual to have a project with four women in the main roles as writer, director, producer and actor. I really connected to the story, especially as it portrays an older woman.

"There’s an expectation that women over 60 should be at home doing knitting, so we wanted to shatter those stereotypes.”

Filmwight helped organise logistics for the shoot. Film officer Dave Russell said: “The Island has so much to offer TV and film, with such a wealth of locations in such a small area.”

Isle of Wight County Press: Underwater shot of Toyah. Pictures by Gianpaolo Mario Giancovich.Underwater shot of Toyah. Pictures by Gianpaolo Mario Giancovich. (Image: Gianpaolo Mario Giancovich)

The film is now in post-production and due for release at the start of 2023, where it will be entered into international film festivals. 

For more information, go to www.weightless-film.co.uk