Mental Ideas is working with filmmaker and ambassador Raffaello Degruttola and Contro Vento Films on co-producing a feature-length film, Transference: A Bipolar Love Story. As well as directing, Raff acts in the film alongside Emilie Sofie Johannsesen, Lotte Verbeek and Simone Lahbib.
Transference is a heartfelt and compelling love story of two immigrant nurses, one of whom has a secret that threatens to implode their secret love affair. Set in London, the film explores themes of emotional isolation, denial, cultural displacement and mental illness and features a talented cast of European character actors, including Raffaello Degruttola (‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Rush’, ‘The Hustle’) Silver Leopard award-winning Lotte Verbeek (‘Outlander’, ‘The Blacklist’), Simone Lahbib (‘Da Vinci’s Demons’, ‘Philomena’), Ania Sowinski (‘Men in Black: International’, ‘Eddie the Eagle’), Christina Chong (‘Johnny English Reborn’, ‘Line of Duty’) and stand-out newcomer Emilie Sofie Johannsen.
The film draws influence from Raff’s difficult relationship with his father, who struggled with a severe version of bipolar disorder throughout his life. Below are some stills from the film. Catch Raff talking about his relationship with his bipolar father and how it fueled his creative work on Episode 3 of the Mental Ideas Podcast, launching on RTHK Radio 3 April 2020.
The film was exec produced by Bill Bossert, co-produced by Sadie Kaye, filmed by DP Simon Haynes and edited by Charlie Lort-Phillips. The film was privately screened in London and Italy in late 2019. In 2020 the film was shortlisted among 4 other narrative feature films for the competition stage of the New York Socially Relevant Film Festival. It was also selected for the Buenos Aires International Film Festival and Arizona International Film Festival in the Dramatic Feature category. All three festivals have been postponed. Stay safe everybody!