Toby Roberts studied Film & Television at the University of California, Los Angeles. Having spent two years learning the ropes of production at Stargate Digital special effects house he moved into screenwriting completing 16 scripts for television broadcast in the USA, Canada and Europe.
Toby then returned to the UK to pursue his interests in directing. His first project was a mockumentary focussing on rural village life in Essex, specifically Wivenhoe, the bohemian town he grew up in.
Shortly after this Toby was commissioned by Anglia Television to direct Smack Heads, a 30-minute documentary about the changing face of traditional sailing within the Eastern region of England. Smack Heads led directly to another documentary for Anglia, this time about The Independent’s resident pop-poet Martin Newell.
Moving into narrative film, Toby produced the short, Remote, in association with the UK Film Council. He also produced and directed four shorts of his own: Love at the Garden Gate, Chrysanthemums the Word, (selected at 22 film festivals in six countries, winner of two awards), Back to the Fuchsia (36 film festivals, eight countries, four awards) and The One About The Sheep (12 festivals so far, five countries, one award).
Toby’s short script - Spoilt Broth - was recently selected at the Berlin Film Festival for the Today Award for which he received 100% of the budget. Shot in September, Spoilt Broth will be premiering at Berlinale 2011 in February.
Toby’s interests in music have resulted in his working with a number of artists including filming The Scissor Sisters, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams and Elton John in concert as well as making pop promos for hip hop/blues newcomers NuBlues, country/folk singer Adrian Nation, Jazz guitarist Chris Allard and UK solo artist Tara Chinn.
In addition, Toby worked as first assistant director on a soap-opera shot in Nairobi, Kenya, and as key second assistant director in Morocco on Irwin Winkler’s film Home of the Brave starring Samuel L. Jackson, Fifty Cent and Jessica Biel.