By Japhet Alakam
The popular saying that “the spiritual controls the physical” and that is why most issues are always decided in the spiritual before their manifestation in the physical, was brought to the fore recently when AVMCA recipient, TRINO Studios, creators of the award-winning short films, Las Gidi Cops and The encounter, unveiled its first feature film tagged Sylvia.
The enthralling drama which took viewers back to the good old days of tales by the moonlight, is a compelling tale of love, lust, betrayal and deadly obsession which ends shockingly and unforgettably. It was screened for the first time at Nollywood Week Paris, organised by Okada Media, but Nigerian movie lovers had a taste of it when it was screened at the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos, last week. With Sylvia, for once, Nigerian film audience are set to see a different storyline from the usual romantic comedy movies that currently dominate Nollywood.
With Babatunwa Aderinokun and Uche Okocha as Executive Producers, Ekene Mekwunye as producer, directed by Daniel Oriahi and written by Vanessa Kanu, Sylvia is buoyed by performances from Nollywood’s star acts like Zainab Balogun, Ini Dima Okojie, Udoka Oyeka and Ghanaian actor, Chris Attoh.
What happens when a man decides to leave his ‘spiritual’ lover for an actual wife? This is the case with Richard when he was confronted with the choice of leaving his imaginary lover, Sylvia, for his new love, Gbemi, a real human being. How did Sylvia receive it and what follows? These are some of the issues the producers of the film tried to sell to viewers. In the 104 minutes encounter that demonstrated the forces of the unknown that controls most issues of life, the producers highlight how the physical desire of Richard was truncated by the superior forces of Sylvia.
A truly compelling story, the producers centre on the cause and effect of relationships, mental health and the real versus the surreal world. Chris Attoh stars as Richard the protagonist. Richard has always existed between the real world and fantasy world and is a home to his friend and lover, Sylvia (Zainab Balogun). Filled with passion and love, the two devotees embark on a journey of commitment.
Time and life go on leaving Richard in a dicey situation. He is now faced with the decision on a future and full commitment, either to the real world with its demands or the surreal world that houses an increasingly frustrated Sylvia. Events unfold leading Richard on a downward spiral. The movie ends shockingly and unforgettably.
Through the movie, Trino Studios, together with the talented cast, demonstrate the reward of passion, quality and precision.
Speaking after the screening, the executive producer, Babatunwa Aderinokun, explained that the movie is centred on the cause and effect nature of relationships, mental health and the real versus the surreal world.
The director also added that the cast were carefully selected. He said: “At the time we shot Sylvia, Zainab, who is one of the lead cast, was not a big name at the time and she was the best fit for the character ditto for Chris. The storyline was just the perfect icing on the cake and are confident that Nigerians will accept the film. You can also tell from the movie’s score that it is a well thought out film.”
Explaining the idea behind the screenplay, the writer, said it’s a blend of her real life experiences as well as a bit of fiction.
She said: “Sylvia came about as a result of recurrent dreams I have been having which sees a dominant character feature in my dream every time. So, I thought about the possibility of it becoming a reality and that is what I tried to do with the script. It has a bit of fantasy, supernatural forces at play, romance and above all, a compelling storyline which will keep you glued to your seat.”
The movie will be released in Nigerian cinemas on September 21.