EXCLUSIVE: Venice Film Festival hit Apples has scored more European distribution deals for Paris-based Alpha Violet.
Deals have closed with Lucky Red (Italy), Filmfreak (Netherlands), Fivia MCF (Ex-Yugoslavia), New Horizon (Poland) and Filmladen (Austria).
Andrea Occhipinti, CEO, Lucky Red told us: “We were very impressed by Apples. It’s a strong and original film. We are happy to have a new author with Lucky Red; Christos Nikou will certainly make his way onto the international scene.”
The Greek dramedy, which was six years in the making, has already sold to Curzon for the UK and Ireland, Madman for Australia and Feelgood for Greece. CAA is repping U.S.
Also playing today in Toronto’s TIFF Selects program today, the film is set amidst a worldwide pandemic that causes sudden amnesia and follows a middle-aged man who finds himself enrolled in a recovery program designed to help unclaimed patients build new identities.
Director Christos Nikou, who was snapped up by CAA earlier this summer, told us today that he was inspired by the allegorical novels Blindness and 1984, as well as his own personal loss, when developing the timely project: “I think the audience will recognise many elements in the film. Uncertainty, loneliness and how we have been moving towards another version of dystopia via technological developments which minimize human contact. I was trying to think about our selective memory and how we erase what hurts us. At the time, I was also trying to deal with the loss of my father, who himself used to eat 7-8 apples a day because they are good for the memory.”
Nikou, who cut his teeth working alongside Yorgos Lanthimos as an assistant director on Dogtooth and Richard Linklater on Before Midnight, instructed his lead actor Aris Servetalis to watch films from Jacques Tati and Jim Carrey to prepare for his lead role. They also discussed Buster Keaton. The research paid off.
The director confirmed to us that his next feature is being lined up as English-language project Fingernails, which he and his writing partner Stavros Raptis are working on alongside UK playwright Sam Steiner. He described the project to us as “similar in style to Apples, though not set in Greece, and more accessible/mainstream. We hope we can make it soon given the strong interest in it.”
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