“Alt-Nollywood” video, 15mins 37 secs.
Phyllis debuted at the Sharon Stone in Abuja exhibition. The film is a moving and atmospheric portrait of a lonely woman obsessed with synthetic Nollywood dramas, that lives in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. The central device in this short experimental film is the practise and significance of wig-wearing in Nollywood film; a practise Zina has invested with deeper psychological as well as science-fiction layers. Underpinning this central idea, however, is a critique of the unforgiving treatment of single women in Nollywood and Nigeria and a meditation on loneliness and mental illness.
The film is an example of what Zina has termed “alt-Nollywood”, a genre she created that reworks certain narrative, stylistic and visual conventions of Nollywood film. Phyllis explores the gothic possibilities of the Nollywood aesthetic creating a new kind of low-budget atmospheric film that is very much of Nollywood and yet subverts the genre. The film has been shown at the New York African Film Festival 2011, Parking Gallery, Johannesburg in February 2013, and Brundyn Gallery, Cape Town amongst other venues.