Cannes Adds 17 Films, Sets Record for Female Directors in Competition

FilmNation announced on Tuesday that Jessie Buckley and newly minted Oscar winner Riz Ahmed have joined the sci-fi romance “Fingernails,” the first English feature film from “Apples” director Christos Nikou.

“Fingernails” will be set in a surreal future in which married couples can undergo a test to see if they are truly in love. Buckley plays Anna, a woman who undergoes the test and doesn’t believe her positive result is accurate, so she takes an assistant job at a “love institute” under an instructor named Trevor, played by Ahmed.

FilmNation will produce alongside Cate Blanchett through her Dirty Films banner, with Coco Francini and Andrew Upton also producing through Dirty Films. Nikou, who made his critically acclaimed debut with the 2020 Greek drama “Apples,” co-wrote “Fingernails” with Sam Steiner and “Apples” co-writer Stavros Raptis.

Ahmed and Buckley made the nominee list at this year’s Academy Awards, with Buckley getting a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter” while Ahmed won his first Oscar for the live-action short film “The Long Goodbye. ” Ahmed was also nominated last year for Best Actor for his performance in “Sound of Metal.”

FilmNation will launch sales for “Fingernails” at the Cannes Film Festival next week, co-repping the US rights with CAA Media Finance and WME Independent. The casting was first reported by Deadline.

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