Private Project

Nice Mike

When his girlfriend falls under the spell of a charismatic energy healer, commitmentphobe Tom sets out to prove that the charming chakra-balancer conceals a twisted dark side.


  • Kelly Smith
    Don't Let Him In
  • Kelly Smith
    Don't Let Him In, Faces in the Crowd
  • Nick Sidhu
  • Kelly Smith
    Don't Let Him In
  • Nick Sidhu
    Key Cast
  • Julian Shaw
    Key Cast
    Angel Of Death
  • Adrienne Grant
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Thriller, Horror
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kelly Smith

Kelly is a screenwriter, producer and director based in London.

His love of genre cinema led him to study BA Film & Drama at the University of Reading, following which he co-wrote (with director Julien Magnat) Faces in the Crowd, a psychological thriller starring Milla Jovovich, Julian McMahon and Marianne Faithfull.

Kelly's debut feature as director Don't Let Him In was released in 2011. The UK horror film starred Sophie Linfield (The Football Factory) and Sam Hazeldine (Mechanic: Resurrection) and was released by High Fliers Films in the UK and Image Entertainment in the US.

His current projects as director include The Fallen Woman, a ghost story short, and Nice Mike, a dark comedy thriller.

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Director Statement

Nice Mike is a dark comedy thriller inspired by the likes of Chris Morris's Jam, Peep Show and the films of Ben Wheatley.

The film centres around Mike, an energy healer who specializes in repairing his clients' chakras and restoring their energy flows.

But Mike has a sinister side, which is only revealed to the film's protagonist Tom — and as Mike's shamanic sway over Tom's friends and his partner Shona increases, Tom is pushed from disbelief to violence.

The concept allowed me to mine the satirical potential in Mike's vocation as a middle class 'professional shaman', but it also allowed me to explore a deeper theme, which might be described as 'the peril of groupthink'.

As our culture grows increasingly tribal, and the beliefs of the group (of whichever social or political type) are rigidly enforced at the expense of the individual, this film offered an irresistible opportunity to satirize the situation in an oblique, indirect way.

Plus it gave us an excuse to chop off a few heads and chuck some blood about.

In terms of production, the film was an experiment. Working with an extremely tight budget, we shot run-and-gun style with minimal crew, sourcing locations, props and costumes from wherever we could.

I'm delighted (and relieved) to say that the experiment worked, and that the approach resulted in a huge injection of energy into both the shooting style and the performances.

On that note, I was blown away by the commitment that the cast brought to their roles, and must single out our three lead actors.

Nick Sidhu has a unique gift for comedy, and is capable of conveying the most absurd or outrageous ideas with stone-faced seriousness. But the role of Tom was a huge challenge, which required him to capture the character's frustration and anger and slide into drunken, suicidal despair - and Nick achieved this superbly.

The role of Mike was also a daunting challenge, as it required an actor to exhibit two polar opposite personas: charming and persuasive, and psychotically menacing. Julian Shaw delivered a multifaceted, unsettlingly inscrutable performance that is absolutely magnetic, and might (if we're lucky) lead to the character of Mike becoming a cult favourite.

And finally, Adrienne Grant brings a warmth and intelligence to the role of Shona, Tom's long-suffering partner, which gives the film its emotional core. Equally gifted at playing comedy and drama, Adrienne made Shona's forehead-slappingly frustrating behaviour in the final act not only darkly funny but also utterly credible.

The entire hard-working cast and crew, and the film's tireless editor Sabine Smith have all contributed to making an end product which I believe is not only entertaining but also perhaps unique.

The Covid-19 lockdown has delayed us from shooting the few remaining inserts and establishing shots, but we're on schedule to complete the film in late 2020, and I can't wait to see how an audience reacts to the jokes, the twists, and poor Tom's entire, tortured journey.