Fingernails, the sophomore feature from Christos Nikou, starring Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, Jeremy Allen White and Annie Murphy, closed the 58th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Saturday evening.

Nikou, the Athens-born director of Apples, used a stage appearance during the closing ceremony ahead of the screening of his sci-fi relationship drama and English-language debut, to express his support for longer cinema runs for movies in the streaming age.

The filmmaker shared that KVIFF artistic director Karel Och was so interested in the title that he flew to London to see a screening of it just to fly back to the Czech Republic at 6 a.m. the next morning, which impressed him and others. “I think that was a reason why we convinced Apple TV+ that distributes the film to have this film here today after the movie [debuted] on the platform,” Nikou said. “Because the movie has been on the platform since November, and I think it’s probably the first time that a movie … was placed at a festival, especially as a closing film, so many months after.”

Nikou added that he hopes this will also be seen as a statement “because movies should not end when they are on a streaming platform.” Instead, he signaled they could have extended life at festivals and cinemas. “Movies belong on the big screen and not on the small screen” on a streaming platform, he said. “And I hope that I will not hear again about theaters closing.” He concluded: “We’ll have to prove to all the streamers that we love movies much more.”

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