Congratulations to CHRA Fellow Argyro Nicolaou who recently presented her feature film in development, Excavators, at connecting cottbus, a German co-production platform. The project won two significant awards – Audience Award for Best Pitch and the Avanpost Pitch Packaging Award – which will help it move towards production.
Excavators is a contemporary story exploring intergenerational trauma and the painful process of looking to the future despite the buried burdens of the violent past. The film is partly based on personal experience, and draws from Argyro‘s research on narratives of internally displaced Cypriots, as well as from her lecture performance History Lesson.
Excavators follows Klió, a Cypriot video artist who lives and works abroad, whose summer holidays back home get interrupted by the unexpected discovery of her grandmother’s remains by the Committee on Missing Persons, tasked to identify the people who went missing during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Klió starts to suspect that there is much more to the story of her disappearance than what the family admits. When her investigation leads her to a culprit within her own family, Klió has to confront the fact that there are certain truths that are too dangerous, and too painful, to be fully unearthed, and she must decide between pursuing justice and keeping her family together.
Argyro Nicolaou is a writer, researcher, and filmmaker based in New York. Her work deals with the representation of history, displacement, and intergenerational memory in post-conflict, postcolonial societies, like her home country of Cyprus. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and Critical Media Practice from Harvard University.
Documentation of Argyro Nicolaou’s lecture performance History Lesson (2020).
Image from pre-production for Excavators.