The Toms: A Short Film by Our Founder

What is The Toms Short Film?

The Toms is a black comedy short film written, directed, and produced by The Film Fund’s founder, Thomas Verdi. It explores the concept of social exclusion and the absurdity of excluding others. It shows the lengths to which one will go to attempt to fit in with a group and the consequences that pretending to be something other than yourself can have.

The logline: In a world run by Toms, an isolated man named Tim risks his identity and his life by trying to infiltrate their secret society because he feels that his name is close enough.

Tim is the odd one out in a group of Toms, highlighting the relatable topic of feeling like an outsider. The Toms can appear comical at first glance, but it delves deeper into serious issue such as conformity and acceptance. It premiered at Dances With Films in December 2022 and will screen next at Media Film Festival in April 2023.

You can watch the short film’s trailer below.

Speaking of The Toms, Who is Thomas Verdi?

The main Tom behind The Toms, Thomas Verdi, is an independent filmmaker, writer, and producer. He serves as Creative Director and CEO of Discontent Media Group, a family of brands that includes FF Branded, The Film Fund, and TAV Films. Verdi’s unique perspective has earned his work recognition at film festivals such as Dances with Films, New Hope Film Festival, and organizations that include Sundance Institute and Tribeca Film Institute.

Verdi started his journey in the film industry while still in high school outside of Philadelphia, PA. He went on to earn Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Lehigh University. Through Discontent Media Group, he has produced several projects for name brands, including Operation Legacy for Comcast NBCUniversal and Travis Manion Foundation and a live-streaming video project for Google. Verdi has also directed commercials for companies like OK, But First Coffee and WorkBistro.

Verdi’s goal in filmmaking is to evoke emotions in his audience, to make them feel something, as he believes that represents a sign that a film has done its job. He supports fellow filmmakers through The Film Fund, which has contributed over $60,000 to winning filmmakers.

Thomas Verdi’s Other Projects

Thomas Verdi’s previous project was a veterans documentary series titled “Operation Legacy.” The series was produced in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal and Travis Manion Foundation. The film sheds light on the stories of America’s veterans, highlighting the positive impact their character has on future generations.

The four-part series focuses on four military veterans: Mark Wildsmith, Erica Webster, Joseph Schiavo, and Marcus Allen. Each of these individuals has a unique story to tell.

Mark Wildsmith, a former Sergeant in the US Army, is a testament to the strength and courage of America’s military. Erica Webster, a retired Staff Sergeant in the US Army and CEO of Dub Fitness, was inspired to join the military in response to the events of 9/11.Joseph Schiavo is a World War II veteran. He left school at a young age to support his family but still went on to serve in the Army. He is a true representation of the sacrifices made by many veterans. Marcus Allen, a former Specialist in the Army National Guard, joined the military to escape poverty and attend college. Through his military service, he has inspired others to reach for their dreams and strive for a better life.

The Operation Legacy series is an important project that brings the stories of these remarkable veterans to the forefront. It shows how their strength and resilience have inspired others to lead a life of purpose and meaning. The series also servse as a reminder of the sacrifices made by veterans and their families, and how their service has helped to shape and protect our country.

The Importance of Short Films like The Toms

Short films have the power to bring attention to important social issues and to spark change in communities. By using creative storytelling, short films can shed light on issues that are often neglected or misunderstood and help to raise awareness about their impact on individuals and society as a whole.

Short films can tackle social issues is by highlighting the experiences and perspectives of marginalized groups. By giving a voice to those who are often marginalized, short films can help to challenge stereotypes and break down barriers of prejudice.

Governments and non-profit organizations can also use short films to raise awareness about social issues and to encourage people to take action. For example, a short film about homelessness could be used to raise awareness about the causes of homelessness and the need for greater support for those who are affected.

Verdi wants to promote empathy and compassion by showing the human side of social issues. Short films can help to create a greater understanding of the challenges that people face and the impact these challenges have on their lives.


We wrote this blog post to show you that The Film Fund’s founder, Thomas Verdi, is a real, working filmmaker, not some suit! It also shows the power that different types of media can have.

If you need funding for your narrative or documentary short film project, check out our funding opportunities here.