Oscar-nominated actress Jessie Buckley (I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Alex Garland’s anticipated horror, Men) and Oscar winner Riz Ahmed (Encounter) have boarded Greek director Christos Nikou’s English-language feature debut Fingernails.

Deadline, which broke the news, reports that the surreal drama is being described as a “grounded sci-fi love story”. In this world, a test has been discovered that measures whether couples are truly in love; to help couples succeed on the test, love institutes have opened to guide and teach them. Anna (Buckley) is sceptical of the positive result she’s received with her long-term partner, so secretly embarks on a mission to disprove the result; to that end, she finds employment at a love institute, working as an assistant to Trevor (Ahmed), a mysterious, dedicated instructor.

Nikou, whose debut Apples made a splash at the Venice Film Festival in 2020, scripted Fingernails with Sam Steiner and Stavros Raptis.

Cate Blanchett’s Dirty Films banner is producing alongside FilmNation Entertainment. “The unique and phenomenal talents of Jessie and Riz will perfectly capture the strange humour, heart and pathos embedded in the core of Fingernails,” commented the Dirty Films team in a joint statement. “We are thrilled to welcome them and the wonderful team at FilmNation aboard to bring Christos Nikou’s profound vision to life.”

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