A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Darryl Wharton-Rigby has worked diligently to be a storyteller. He has an MFA in Film Directing from Chapman University and was a Lecturer for Morgan State University's Screenwriting and Animation program. 

Darryl wrote for two NBC television shows, Homicide: Life On The Streetand Just Deal. His film, Stay, makes him the second African-American to make a feature film in Japan. 

He is an international filmmaker who explores the human experience and builds cultural bridges. He is passionate about human and equal rights, LGBTQ issues, immigration, and those who are disenfranchised.

Darryl earned his MFA at Chapman University in Film Production with an emphasis in Directing. His thesis film, "Prodigal," screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner in 2012.

From 2010 - 2012, Darryl was a Lecturer for Morgan State University’s Screenwriting and Animation (SWAN) Program. While there he helped to lay the foundation of the university’s film program.

Taking a break from living in Hollywood, Darryl moved to Japan. He worked as an English teacher in elementary and jr. high schools as part of the JET Programme in Kawamata Town in Fukushima. While in Kawamata, Darryl became an active part of the community and started to learn taiko drumming. He started filming the documentary, "Don Doko Don: The Yamakiya Taiko Club Story" in 2006. Darryl’s short film project, “Obon” was shot in the town of Natori, which is one of the areas of Japan destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami.


Since living in Japan Darryl has made in-roads in the entertainment industry. He landed several acting roles including a role as the DJ in the hit AKB 48 music video, “Koi Suru Fortune Cookie, “ which has more than 100 millions views on YouTube. He has had the opportunity to work on projects with gymnast, Rie Tanaka, singer/actor Kazunari Ninomiya, and singer, Toshinobu Kubota appearing in commercials for Toshiba, JCB, Omron, Pocky, Bit Flyer, and Taraka Tomy.

Residing between the USA and Japan, Darryl's talents expand to an international canvas. His affable personality gives him the ability to adapt and adjust quickly in any environment, which makes it easy for him to work with clients all over the world.

Darryl Wharton-Rigby credits his wife and three children as his ultimate muse.

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His debut feature film “Detention,” screened around the United States and internationally. The film received numerous honors and awards, including “Best Director” at the Urbanworld Film Festival and the “Audience Award” at the Atlanta Film and Video Festival. Darryl parlayed that success into distribution deals for cable as well as home video.

In the world of theatre, Darryl wrote and directed the award-winning plays, “Freeda Slave” Mask of a Diva,” starring Dale Guy Madison and “Here Come the Drums,” starring Russell Hornsby. The latter received 8 NAACP Theatre Award nominations. 


His latest award-winning feature film, STAY, is a unique love about a salaryman in recovery struggling to put the pieces of his back together. He meets an American woman who brings hope into his life.The story set in Tokyo and stars Shogen and Ana Tanaka.

After a very successful run on the festival circuit, Stay was picked up by Summer Hill Entertainment.

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