(2021; 108 min.) Click image for Venue information

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~ the players ~

Helia Rasti as "Hope"
Hope is a dedicated writer on a deadline to finish a short
fiction story for ArtLit, a prestigious NYC literary magazine,

Benjamin Ervin as "Ben"
Ben accuses Hope of manufacturing crises in their relationship
to spur her creativity as he tries in vain to break up with her.

Helia Rasti as "Helen"
Hope's alter ego in the story she is writing, the child-like Helen
is an amateur birder and mythologist who falls in love with
Phineas, the central character in her story

Douglas Allen as "Phineas"
A figment of Hope's imagination, Phineas is a quiet dendrologist,
a scholar of trees, on a mission to save a large grove of dying oaks.

Douglas Allen as "Keith"
Keith is an avant garde performer passing through town when
he encounters Hope and is intrigued by her wild imagination,

Cynthia Schwell as "Calliope"
A socially primitive elder woman with strange chanting powers who
encounters Hope while gathering psychoactive plants in the forest.

Sylvi Alli as "Callista"
Callista is part of an occult sisterhood with Calliope who
believes Hope may be another seer amongst them.

with Robert D'esposito
as "Gary at Art Lit" and " The Uber Passenger"


Synopsis, Crew & Credits, Filmography, Stills, Contact

"The Moon Tree" by Bat Halpin (as seen in the film)

~ Synopsis (no spoilers) ~

Hope is writing a short story for ArtLit magazine. When she decides to
write herself into the narrative as a character who falls in love with the
story's central character, her real world boyfriend relationship starts to
unravel. Meanwhile in a nearby forest Hope encounters two witches
who take a sudden interest in her. "The Alchemy of Sulphur"
explores the creative process as an insurrection of the Poetic
Imagination poised at the crossroads between Life and Art.

Calliope (Cynthia Schwell) chants at Hope as Callista (Sylvi Alli) watches

~ Crew & Credits ~
Benjamin Ervin, Production Assistance.
Wardrobe, props, and audio recording by Sylvi Alli.
Music by Frederic Chopin, Erik Satie, Sylvi Alli, and others.
Written, directed, cinematography, and editing by Antero Alli
A non-Union, non-commercial film produced by Vertical Pool.

"Alchemical Sulphur" -- Stills from the film

"Reinventing the Romantic" -- Vision statement

"The Alchemy of Sulphur" -- Film reviews

Antero Alli -- Filmography


Covid precautions were followed in this production.