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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Greece / France

Araceli Lemos shooting her feature debut, Holy Emy

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- The Greek writer-director is getting stuck into the shoot for her first feature, which follows a young woman suffering from a strange, supernatural condition

Araceli Lemos shooting her feature debut, Holy Emy
Director Araceli Lemos on the set of Holy Emy (© Nora Gkika/StudioBauhaus)

Splitting her time between Athens and Los Angeles, Greek writer-director and editor Araceli Lemos had her latest short film, Miguel Alvarez Wears a Wig, screened at several festivals, including Tampere and Leeds, among others. Lemos is currently shooting her debut feature-length film, Holy Emy, which won the North Macedonian Film Agency Award at Sarajevo CineLink in 2017, and which participated in the 2018 EAVE and Ties That Bind programmes.

The screenplay, written by the director and Giulia Caruso, follows Emy (Abigael Loma) and her sister, Teresa (Hasmine Kilip), who are both members of the Catholic Filipino community of Piraeus. For unknown reasons, Emy experiences some unexpected bleeding episodes. Teresa decides to hide her from the outside world and protects Emy by keeping her isolated, as she’s afraid that someone will want to either exploit her or “cure” her condition. The strong relationship between the sisters will be compromised when Teresa brings Argiris (Michalis Syriopoulos) into their lives and subsequently falls pregnant. Then Emy decides to abandon their nest and finds a job at the mysterious villa of an older woman (Irene Inglesi), where her mother used to work. This will be the starting point for a journey on which she will learn to control her tears, discover her past and harness her strengths.

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Holy Emy will wrap principal photography by the end of the month, and the cast includes non-professional actors who are Filipino residents of Athens, along with celebrated thesps from the Philippines, such as Hasmine Kilip (Ordinary People), Angeli Bayani (Ilo-Ilo) and Ku Aquino (Birdshot), plus emerging Greek talents Michalis Syriopoulos, Elsa Lekakou (Copa-Loca) and Julio Katsis (Park [+see also:
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interview: Sofia Exarchou
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]
). LA-based South Korean cinematographer and producer Ki Jin Kim (Spa Night) is lensing the film, while the editing is already under way in parallel with the shoot, courtesy of France’s Raphaëlle Martin-Holger (Diamantino [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Sc…
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]
). Most of the post-production will be completed in France in the next few months.

The producer of the movie, Konstantinos Vassilaros, is the co-founder of Athens-based StudioBauhaus, and previously staged Vardis Marinakis’ sophomore film, Zizotek [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Vardis Marinakis
film profile
]
, which premiered at the 2019 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Furthermore, he is currently developing Orfeas Peretzis’ feature debut, Riviera, which has taken part in various workshops and programmes.

Holy Emy is a Greek-French co-production by Konstantinos Vassilaros (StudioBauhaus) and Mathieu Bompoint (Utopie Films), with Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim (Nonetheless Productions) and Ginedo Films. The film is being supported by the Greek Film Centre, France’s CNC, ERT SA, the SEE Cinema Network, the Aide à la Coproduction d’Œuvres Cinématographiques Franco-Grecques support fund, EKOME and Eurimages.

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