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New Hollywood Movie About Melina Merkouri Films in Greece

Michael Nickles
Michael A. Nickles discusses a scene with Greek actress Katerina Didaskalou who played Melina Mercouri. Photo supplied

Michael Achilles Nickles, a Greek-American filmmaker, has just finished shooting a new movie called Melina’s Dream in Greece.

This is an American production with an all-Greek cast, including Greek stars Katerina Didaskalou and Renos Haralambidis.

Nickles told Greek Reporter that his team “just wrapped [up] production and has begun editing.” The film was shot entirely in Athens and Sparta with a Greek crew.

“I am very proud of the work my team has accomplished. It was not an easy shoot, as the film mixes two time periods—1987 and Ancient Greece—and features Melina Mercouri as the main character,” he said.

Nickles recently said that the film is “a comedy and a drama, an adventure and a coming-of-age movie, it is romantic, retro, surreal. A unique and unpredictable story.”

The central character in the movie, Brad Brasidas (Peter Bundic), lives in New Jersey and has grown up with a love for ancient Sparta. In 1987, he goes to Sparta for family reasons. Upon his arrival, he happens to be at the press conference given by Melina Merkouri (Katerina Didaskalou) as Minister of Culture, who demands the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

The themes of the competition between Athens and Sparta from ancient times and the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles run through the plot.

Nickles has been in the business for many years shooting in the bitter cold of New York and under the warmth of the Los Angeles sun. He has been both in front and behind the camera.

Michael Nickles—proud of his Greek heritage

Nickles is very proud of his Greek heritage. His grandparents on his mother’s side of the family were from Mytilene and the Smyrna region. His paternal grandparents were from Zoupena and Goritsa, two small villages southeast of Sparta.

Both of his parents were born in New Jersey in the United States, and he was born in Syracuse, New York.

“I feel very connected to Greece,” he told Greek Reporter in an earlier interview.

“I don’t think a day goes by when something Greek-related doesn’t enter my day,” he revealed. “Whether it’s my Southern wife insisting that we practice our Greek—we’re taking lessons—or it’s listening to music or eating Greek food or planning for a trip back to Greece. As I said before, I’m proud of my heritage.”

Nickles’ first movie partly shot in Greece and released in 2016 was Swing Away, a film about self-discovery and one woman’s love affair with Greece.

The film focused on a Greek-American golfer named Zoe (Shannon Elizabeth), who has become disillusioned with her life in the US following a very public meltdown and decides to travel back to Greece to visit her family and figure out a new direction for herself.

Her decision is inspired by famous Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis, whose philosophy of “hope for nothing, fear nothing” is infused throughout the movie.


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