Director Philippe Joly is a French actor, screenwriter, filmmaker and entrepreneur. Born in Moscow, Russia, for the past seven years Philippe has made Hong Kong his home. Besides his native French, Philippe is fluent in Italian, Russian, Spanish, English – and the filthiest parts of Cantonese and Mandarin. He is best known as an actor for his roles as ‘Zoltan’ in the 2015 film Pound of Flesh with Jean-Claude Van Damme and ‘Decimus’ in Jackie Chan’s epic Dragon Blade.
Philippe regularly plays the villain in action films in Asia and appeared alongside Chow Yun Fat as a foreign gangster in From Vegas to Macau, and Andy Lau, whom he’s faced twice, first as a killer disguised as a maid in the film Mission Milano, and then as Chief Commissioner in Chasing The Dragon. Recent projects include Juno Mak‘s latest film Sons of The Neon Night (風林火山), and the Chinese sci-fi action film Ultimate Code (终极代码), in which he plays a lead role as the antagonist alongside a Chinese cast and David Belle.
An entrepreneur whose expertise and passion for mobile technologies gets him regularly solicited for consultancy work, Philippe has been involved in many projects in the digital space, including developing and launching mobile apps, web portals & social networks. In 2011 he won the Mobile Messaging Award for his venture SafeBox.mobi. He’s the author of business book Potemkin, Inc. As well as being a director of HKIMHFF, Philippe has made an invaluable contribution to the design and marketing of Mental Ideas.
Contact Philippe: firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Director Sadie Kaye started in television as a children’s TV presenter on TVB, ITV, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. She’s devised, co-written, presented and performed in comedy and entertainment series for indies and broadcasters in London, including the BBC, Maverick, E4, Channel 4, MTV, cable & web.
In 2012 she played shambolic presenter Miss Adventure (a role she had been inadvertently rehearsing for her entire life) in an improvised skit on Funny or Die, before taking the character onto the airwaves of RTHK Radio 3. She writes and performs as ‘Miss Adventure’ in a variety of comic slots and is the host of several upcoming podcasts.
Sadie’s produced & presented documentary shorts and feature-length films for Sky, Discovery, Channel 4 and France 3, including Sailing Miss Sadie, Tucker’s Luck, Wild Horses, Polo Field of Dreams & The CSJ Awards. In 2020 she co-produced dramatic feature Transference: A Bipolar Love Story with Mental Ideas and Contro Vento Films.
In 2015 she produced and presented a documentary about bipolar disorder for RTHK Radio 3, Bipolar Express, Highly Commended in the Creative Feature category by the Association for International Broadcasting in 2015. The following year, it won an internal RTHK Award. Her sequel, As Bad As It Gets, aired on RTHK in 2019. She presents a weekly podcast for RTHK exploring innovative approaches to tackling mental health, the Mental Ideas Podcast.
Contact Sadie: email@example.com
James Daly is co-founder and CEO of Greenhouse Media (GMI), a dynamic media finance and film company based in the UK. A shrewd financial director with a creative soul, James intricately understands both sides of the film industry. Unlike other indies, James’ focus is on fully financing film and media projects in-house and drawing on his long-term relationships with distributors.
GMI‘s portfolio includes films & TV shows in the Comedy, Drama, Music, Entertainment, Documentary and Factual/Features genres. The company is growing fast by developing and producing exciting films and TV shows that viewers connect with easily and love to watch. Away from the financial and distribution side, James is also a critically acclaimed writer and producer. As well as working with big established names, James believes that discovering and championing young talent is paramount to ensuring his company’s success.
James’ passion and commitment to social responsibility is something he’s incredibly proud of and has placed at the heart of all his company’s endeavors. In doing so, he’s created a powerful platform to raise marginalized voices, exploring and assisting global causes which benefit from GMI’s support and opportunities each year. James intends to work closely with us on all aspects of film & media production and distribution, offering his expertise and creating empowering opportunities for our global filmmaking community to engage with the widest audience.
Raffaello DeGruttola (‘Raff’) is an English-Italian actor and director from London. After playing Private Goldman in Steven Spielberg‘s Saving Private Ryan, Raff worked as a character actor in American films shot in Europe. His notable acting credits include supporting roles in Rush, In Love and War, Wit, Quantum of Solace and Unlocked, while notable directors he’s worked with include Richard Attenborough and Mike Nichols. In 2019 he appeared opposite Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway in The Hustle.
Raff’s parents moved from Ariano Irpino, Italy, to London in 1970. When Raff was eight, the family moved to Queens, New York for several years, before returning to London. After attending some local acting classes, Raff was encouraged to audition for a place at the Sylvia Young Theatre School. This he successfully did and attended from the ages of 13-16, before continuing his acting training at the Lee Strasberg Institute. In 2003 Raff married Simone Lahbib. Their daughter, Skye, was born in 2005. Both are actresses.
In 2010 Raff wrote and directed his first 30-min short, The Other Side Of My Sleep. The film headlined the Boston Film Festival and inspired by its success, Raff immediately began shooting his first feature film, FLIM The Movie, a comedy constructed around improvisation. As well as directing, Raff played the lead, Ravi, a delusional filmmaker hoping to make the leap from Bollywood to Hollywood. FLIM premiered at the 2014 Raindance Film Festival and was nominated for the Raindance Award at the 2014 British Independent Film Awards. In 2015 the film made the official selection at the New York Independent Film Festival.
In 2017, Raff directed and played a sex trafficker in No Way Home – Stop The Traffick, a powerful short film to raise awareness of the victims of human trafficking. The film won the award for Expose from the United Nations in conjunction with CNN and World Freedom Day.
He is currently working with Mental Ideas on a series of short films depicting mental health conditions in an experimental, art-house style, blending contemporary dance, music and poetry with an acting narrative. The first of these shorts, Transference: A Bipolar Love Story, he turned into and directed as a feature-length film.
Raff’s been affected by mental illness throughout his life. Raff’s father had bipolar disorder and he is drawn to playing sympathetic delusional characters with a manic edge.
Dan Davies is an American actor. Dan started in radio hosting his own show The Swami from 1998-2001. He went on to host TV shows Just For The Health Of It and Now We’re Cooking. In 2005, Dan won the Platinum Remi award for Best Comedy at the 38th Annual Houston International Film Festival (WorldFest).
In 2010 Dan wrote, co-produced and played the title character in Ed Gein, The Musical, a micro-budget horror/musical/comedy, which premiered nationally on PBS‘ Director’s Cut. This opened the door for Dan to co-write the screenplay and star in the western film West of Thunder (2012). The film won the Political Film Society‘s Best Film (Peace) and Best Film (Human Rights) awards: the first film in the Society’s history to win both categories. The film was also awarded the Audience Award at the 2013 Almeria Western Film Festival in Spain.
In 2012 Dan appeared with Sadie Kaye in Miss Adventure meets Motorhead on Funny or Die and co-starred in Raffaello Degruttola‘s British comedy film Flim, the Movie. The latter premiered in London during the Raindance Film Festival and was nominated for the Raindance Award at the 2014 British Independent Film Awards (BIFA).
Dan’s next movie, Tempting Fate (2015), was one of the first Hollywood meets Nollywood films of its genre. Dan portrays gang leader Scorpion Dmitrov, co-starring with Nollywood legend Ramsey Nouah. The film is ranked one of the Top 25 Nollywood box office hits of all time. In 2016 Dan co-starred with Ayo Makun, Funke Akindele and Eric Roberts in the Nollywood/Hollywood comedy film A Trip to Jamaica, which became the No. 1 Nollywood box office film of all time. In 2017 Dan won Best Supporting Actor (Comedy) from the African Golden Movie Awards for his hilarious portrayal of Michael Rice. The film was also nominated for Best Comedy at the 2017 African Academy Awards.
Simone Lahbib is a Scottish actress, best known for her portrayal of idealistic Wing Governor Helen Stewart in the ITV drama series Bad Girls. Born in Stirling to a Scottish mother and a French Algerian father, Simone received her acting training at Queen Margaret College, after spending four years training at the Manor School of Ballet in Edinburgh.
Simone commenced her on-screen acting career in 1985 when she was cast in The Girl in the Picture. She soon established a prominent career in television. Following guest appearances on Taggart and Dangerfield, she received her first leading role when she was cast in the ITV soap London Bridge as Mary O’Connor. Her next roles came in the late nineties, when she appeared in the third series of drama Thief Takers and in Channel 4 comedy series The Young Person’s Guide to Becoming a Rock Star.
Simone became widely recognized for her leading role in the cult British prison drama series Bad Girls, establishing a loyal fan base throughout the world, especially among the LGBT community. Following her departure from Bad Girls, Simone appeared in several drama series, including Judge John Deed and Monarch of the Glen. She was again cast in a leading role on the crime drama series Wire in the Blood as D.I. Alex Fielding. Her other notable TV credits include guest appearances in New Tricks and the 2012 Christmas Special of Downton Abbey.
Simone appeared in the films Red Mercury, with Stockard Channing, and the BAFTA-winning Philomena, with Dame Judi Dench. She co-starred in her husband and fellow Mental Ideas Ambassador Raffaello DeGruttola’s 2014 comedy film Film: The Movie, which she also co-produced.
In 2013 Simone opened a performing arts school, 360 Arts, in North London, which teaches singing, dancing and acting to children aged 3-18 years. She married Raff in 2003 and the couple have a daughter, Skye Lucia DeGruttola, also an actress, who was recently seen in the live action Disney movie Beauty & The Beast and in BBC series Grantchester.
In 2010, Simone established the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund in honor of her niece who died of cancer nine days before her 16th birthday. The charity fund benefits kids with cancer and their families. In 2018 she organized a Bad Girls reunion, which helped raise money for the memorial fund.
Mat Ricardo is one of the most unique, critically-acclaimed & entertaining variety performers in the world. The first man in history to learn to put the tablecloth back ON the table… and that‘s just one of his incredible feats!
The gentleman juggler and showman is a TEDX speaker, the winner of the Herald Angel Award for Theatre Excellence, winner of the British Cabaret Award for Best Speciality Act, the Kleinkunst Cabaret Prize, the Arts Award, Stagetalk Magazine’s Show of the Year, and the Edinburgh Festival’s Pick of the Fringe.
“MAT RICARDO IS AMAZING!” – HRH PRINCE CHARLES
Mat’s also an experienced presenter and on-stage interviewer, having conducted live interviews for the BBC with some of the biggest stars of comedy, including Eddie Izzard, at the National Theatre, the Edinburgh Festival, and on several West End stages.
“DAZZLING SHOWMANSHIP, SPOT-ON COMIC TIMING AND BUCKETLOADS OF STYLE. RELENTLESS, HILARIOUS, JAW-DROPPING FUN!” – ER MAGAZINE
As a columnist for Chortle, he’s written about subjects as diverse as depression and creativity, gender, internet trolls, originality, the power of failure, the late Paul Daniels, and greasy spoon cafes. He’s recently been turning his relentless creativity to penning books.
Mat’s spoken and written freely about his struggles with mental health, including depression, mood swings (touching on bipolar disorder), OCD and anxiety. He’s a regular columnist for Mental Ideas and a guest in creative director Sadie Kaye‘s RTHK documentary As Bad As It Gets, chronicling his experiences with OCD. In 2020 he presented a number of engaging slots on the Mental Ideas Podcast, a co-pro between Mental Ideas and RTHK Radio 3.
Nick Samuel is an award-winning composer and arranger. Born in California, he now lives and works in London. His work spans film, TV, radio and video games and is driven by music’s relationship with the narrative. His between-the-lines approach to storytelling draws influence from across the board of genres. An early-life love of animation and studies in visual art also played a role in Nick’s musical interpretation of how melodies ‘speak’ with an image.
Beginnings in the live arena provided a cornerstone to Nick’s career. As a saxophonist and keyboard player, he worked and played with bands on London’s Jazz scene. A natural transition to composing, as songwriter and band-leader, saw him form the group ‘Hopper’, which went on to receive a finalist accolade for ‘Best Alternative Act’ at the Indy Awards in 2007. In 2009, Nick made the gear-shift to composing, his experience in live music and improvisation heavily influencing the language of his music.
Nick started scoring short films, before working in TV and advertising with clients, including ITV (Text Santa), Tesco Books, Against Breast Cancer (for DCM), Pearl & Dean (receiving the 2013 Music + Sound Award for ‘Best Composition in Cinema Advertising’); and Tesco’s 2017 Christmas TV spot ‘Save The Day’, which he recorded with a 55-piece orchestra at London’s Abbey Road Studios.
He has since scored dozens of feature films, TV shows and multimedia series; working with production companies, studios and directors worldwide. Recent film releases include the acclaimed Max Payne: Retribution and medieval fantasy/horror Knights of The Damned.