Paris-based sales agent Alpha Violet has acquired world rights for “Apples,” the feature directorial debut of Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou. The company and the director will present a teaser of the offbeat dramedy this week at the Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo (MIA) in Rome.
“Apples” is the story of Aris, a solitary man in his late thirties, who becomes a victim of an unexplained surge of amnesia in his city and is forced to confront his condition through an experimental new treatment that creates new memories for patients. During treatment he meets a woman undergoing similar memory loss therapy, and their budding relationship makes Aris reconsider his actions and embark on a new direction in his life.
“‘Apples,’ an allegorical and somehow funny story, is in its core an effort to explore how our memory functions and how this affects us. How emotions affect our memory, and especially how our memory is affected by technology, which nowadays makes it very easy to record information,” said Nikou. “Could it be that all this advance in technology has made our brain ‘lazier,’ and thus we remember fewer and fewer events, fewer and fewer emotions? Could it be that we have ended up living ‘less’?”
Nikou said his intention with “Apples” was “to create a familiar world in a recent past, in a society where technology is not so present,” drawing on his interest in allegorical films that “create new worlds and change a bit the rules of our society.”
The movie probes at universal questions about memory and human consciousness. “How selective is our memory? Do we remember what we have experienced or what we have chosen to remember? Can we forget the things that hurt us? Could it be that deep down we don’t want to forget painful experiences because without them we lose our existence? In the end, are we simply the sum of all those things we don’t forget?”
“Apples” is produced by Hercules Mavroides, Angelo Venetis, Aris Dagios and Nikos Smpiliris of Greece’s Boo Productions, and Mariusz Włodarski of Poland’s Lava Films, with the support of the Greek Film Center, the Polish Film Institute, Greek pubcaster ERT, and Creative Europe Media. The film received the support of EKOME, the Greek governmental institution that manages the rebate.
“For Alpha Violet, we are really thrilled to work with Christos as his film is visually unique and deploys a very original cinematic language,” said the company’s co-founder, Virginie Devesa, who described the film as “‘Eternal Sunshine’ meets Yorgos Lanthimos’ offbeat sensibilities.”
She continued, “It is quirky, hipster, retro (with its 4:3 aspect ratio and vintage Polaroid), [with a] playful aspect that is anchored by a sober lead performance of Aris Servetalis. We also really like the comedic side of the film, which makes it very different from other films.”
Devesa and Nikou will be presenting the “Apples” teaser during C EU SOON, a special MIA session showcasing seven promising European films by first- and second-time directors that are currently in post-production. C EU SOON will be held at Rome’s Cinema Barberini on Oct. 17.