Producer: Marios Piperides (AMP Filmworks)
Emilios Avraam holds a diploma in Audio Visual Communication, a BSc in Media Technology and a Digital Compositing certificate.
During his 13 year-long career, he has worked on hundreds of productions as an editor and visual effects artist, from TV commercials with big clients, to short and feature films. Before he returned to Cyprus in 2007, he worked on feature films in London as a digital compositor with names like John Malkovich, Simon Pegg and David Schwimmer.
Within the past 6 years he wrote and directed many music videos for local and international artists and two short narrative films. His first short film Bad Habits (2016) was screened at 26 festivals around the world and won eight awards. His latest short Rearrangement is currently being submitted to film festivals.
Smaragda is a character-driven drama that revolves around a worn out 50-year-old woman who lives off from collecting residuals from a kids TV show she starred in 15 years ago. She lives alone with her two dogs in a small house that she inherited from her mother in a small touristy town in Cyprus. One day she gets a call that the show she was on is getting off the air and that she will no longer collect residuals for it. Her two friends, Paul, a middle-aged divorcee, and Tina, a middle-aged woman still struggling with her sexuality, try to help her and convince her to start working as an entertainer for kids‘ parties. With life not taking the right turn for her and having a feisty and pessimistic attitude towards things, she and her friends end up engaging in juvenile activities. During the process, she goes through emotional rollercoasters and tries to find a silver lining.
Smaragda is a poignant, lyrical drama film about life, death, companionship, childlessness, fear and loneliness. It deals with the theme of success, both personal and professional, and how these are perceived in the society today. This film is also about being human and all its flaws, complex human relationships and social standards. It is about finding that moment of truth, your sense of purpose, acknowledging that success does not always have to be measured by wealth or fame, marriage or children; that it can be found in small things, even if it’s as small as entertaining little kids at parties, the same kids that maybe one day will face the same issues. It is about that moment in life where you realize who you are and you accept it.
The story is inspired by a personal relative of mine that lives and works in a small touristy town in Cyprus. She went through cancer and many unsuccessful relationships only to decide to stay unmarried and live by herself. Many relatives and people in the town still criticize her and consider her broken. This still shows that people’s identity has always been labeled by social statuses.
More and more people in the recent years choose a childless life and are very happy with their decisions. In this case, Smaragda reflects on what she has been through and where she is now, tries to pick up herself and continue her journey.
Coming from a small town where everybody knew each other, people talked about each other and life was structured around the ideological constructs of a narrow-minded community, Smaragda has struggled to find her path in life. Her friend Paul is a midlife divorcee and her friend Tina is still struggling with her sexuality – all of which are social statuses that are still frowned upon nowadays in these small communities. We also experience the relationship between Paul and Smaragda which is strictly friendly but with a hint of the possibility of something real happening there.
The filming style will be raw, with realistic, handheld camera movements to re-enforce the natural feel of the film. The acting will have a natural, humanist feel to it with a lot of space for improvisation from the actors. The idea is to make an observational film with the main character not having an actual purpose in the film, which resembles her life now. It’s more like a slice of life, the parts of it which do not seem important but it’s where you find the essence in things in a subtle and beautiful way.