Cyprus – Niki Agrotou, Rialto (Limassol)

Cyprus - Niki Agrotou Cyprus - Niki Agrotou

Cinema for me is…

Niki is 23 frames

1. Describe yourself in ten words.
A person full of ideas and enthusiasm, who procrastinates a lot.

2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
I always want to improve, and I am very empathetic. However, my worst habit is procrastination.

3. Your dream job?
A filmmaker and a children’s books writer & illustrator, among other things.

4. What do you like most about your country?
Everything is so close. You can reach your destination within the city in 20 minutes.

5. Your favorite dish in your country?
Keftedes – Cypriot meatballs.

6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what does it mean?
Το πουλλίν επέτασε – ‘to pouli epetase’ – which translates to “the bird flew” – which means that it’s too late for something and that you have lost your chance!

7. What European capital have you visited lately?

8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?
Italy for sure!

9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
Culture, unity, innovation.

10. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
Atonement (Joe Wright, 2007, US).

11. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
Zena Palace Cinema in Nicosia. It is not used frequently, but it has something nostalgic about it and it reminds me of when I was young. It also has great audio, and it is used for film festivals and/or premieres!

12. Who is your movie hero?
I was very inspired by Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum, 2014, US), who is real person.

13. Which movie director would you like to be?
There are so many, but I’d say Brad Bird. He is talented, imaginative, professional but has a very playful quality in his work, without it missing from depth or meaning.

14. Briefly describe your favorite scene.
It changes from time to time, but one of my favourite scenes is one of the last scenes of the film Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Céline Sciamma, 2020, FR); when Marianne finds a portrait of Héloïse at the gallery. Although, the portrait initially reveals the current life of Héloïse, which doesn’t really surprise us, as it is what the audience and Marianne would expect from a woman at that time in history, Sciamma manages to change the whole dynamic of the scene by revealing and referencing a number at the very edge of a page in the book Héloïse is holding in the painting. The camera focuses solely on Marianne’s reaction, who is shocked and touched by the detail. It showcases that despite all the time that has passed and everything that has changed, neither party has forgotten what they once had or felt for each other. The film in general, but especially this scene, allows the audience to be emotionally invested into the feelings and lives of the protagonists. It makes us feel as if we are dealing with real people, who will continue to exist after the film ends, and that in my opinion, is a true skill in filmmaking and screenwriting.

15. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Céline Sciamma, 2020, FR)
Druk (Thomas Vinterberg, 2020, DK)
Eftyhia (Angelos Frantzis, 2019, GR)

16. Which film character do you most identify with?
Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki, 2004, JP). I found something deeply relatable, endearing, and real about her character.

17. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
That’s a tough one, I love film soundtracks. I have recently been obsessed with Piero Piccioni’s “Amore mio aiutami”, but I’d say anything by Ennio Morricone, Joe Hisaishi or Abel Korzeniowski is pure magic.

18. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
It has to be Chiamami col tuo nome (Luca Guadagnino, 2017, IT). The lifestyle, the parents, the house, the guests, the academic work. The whole film felt like a dream.

19. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
Phoebe Waller Bridge, although we look nothing alike!

20. Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to learn how to animate and paint.

21. What is your most treasured possession?
I don’t get attached to physical possessions, but if I had to choose one, I’d say my journal.

22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Getting selected for different youth programmes or traineeships. There is a lot of competition out there and so many good opportunities.

23. What is your motto?
Que sera, sera (whatever will be, will be).

Niki Agrotou is the Ambassador of Rialto. Find out more about the cinema here.