Strand Releasing picked up Georgis Grigorakis’s film “Digger” for U.S. distribution on Thursday. The film, which is Grigorakis’s first feature-length movie, is also Greece’s official submission for Best International Film at the 94th Academy Awards.
“Digger” tells the story of a farmer named Nikitas who’s living and working in northern Greece. Just as a mining company begins to intrude on Nikitas’s life, his son unexpectedly returns home after years of estrangement.
”We’re thrilled to be handling this amazing film and representing Greece for the Oscars for Best International Film, and to be working with both Athina and the Match Factory on this as we consider this a family affair,” Strand Releasing’s founders in a statement referencing Athina Rachel Tsangari, one of “Digger”‘s producers and frequent collaborator with Strand Releasing.
“Digger” premiered at the Berlin film festival where it was immediately met with enthusiasm from audiences and critics. The film was awarded the CICAE prize at the festival and was screened at festivals in Thessaloniki, Sarajevo, and Philadelphia.
“Digger” is a Greek film that touches on universal themes
Grigorakis co-wrote the film with Maria Votti and Vangelis Mourikis, who stars as Nikitas. In an interview with Filmfestivals, Grigorakis explained how “Digger” reckons with themes that impact people across the world, while remaining a whole-heartedly “Greek film” anchored in the intimacy of father-son relationships:
“I think for me, it’s a Greek film but it reflects more universally than Greek society. I think this division within society is a universal thing that is happening. You know that one day I saw a poster in the train station here about the environmental crisis being the next Berlin Wall. And I think that this is what the film is about. I think it’s about people divided into those who like “the Digger” in the film kind of devouring, kind of eating up everything. They wanna continue, let’s say, in a system that goes for-profit and wants to eat up everything. And wants to continue in a system that we know is gonna end. Our natural resources, the way we are consuming are gonna end in the next fifty years max. And some other people, on the other hand, who say, “No more, it’s enough. We want to have our lifestyle a different way, a different balance in the way we live.” And I think that’s a global division. That this is already happening and it’s gonna be happening more and more in the future, inevitably. It’s about a system that wants some cost-effective solutions and a system that avoids relationships at the same time because relationships have a cost, you know. You cannot avoid the cost if you want to make the effort to make a relationship. This is why in the end it’s a film about the father-son relationship, which both make a big effort digging, to create the foundation.”