Silvano Griffith-Francis has been a friend of mine for some time now. She is an actress and writer who has brought her craft to churches and theaters across the country with her company, SVG Productions. Last year, she and her team were able to make their first movie, called Family Secrets.
I had the chance to watch a screening of this film last October, and was struck by the emotional story-line, the performances and the general artistry of the whole thing. It is a movie made with a lot of passion and sacrifice, the dimension of which became clear when Silvano, introducing the audience to the project, mentioned it had been made with an approximate budget of £5000, which is ten times less than the average cost of a professional film in the UK, and just a tiny small fraction of a Hollywood movie budget. Even if it has to deal with some technical limitations due to the available budget, it is a promising, inspiring movie that certainly has the possibility to become something bigger.
The plot revolves around three siblings who are dealing with private struggles while trying to be brave for their mother. The story touches subjects as domestic violence, eating disorders and sexuality, keeping an empathetic, sensible point of view guided by the Christian values of the team behind it.
SVG Productions tours their stage plays (and now feature films, as they are currently producing new projects) in small theaters, churches, charities and other community-based environments. As independent artistes, they rely on local support and word of mouth to distribute and exhibit their work, something I can relate to, as a musician. So, if you happen to have some time to spare, check their company website and don’t miss the chance to attend a play or a screening of Family Secrets. You are up for a moving performance, a valuable message and the sheer joy of witnessing the work of faith.