Salone News

TV documentary on Syl Cheyney-Coker

By  | 13 April 2016 at 01:22 | 3581 views

A TV documentary on Sierra Leone’s foremost writer, Syl Cheyney-Coker will soon be filmed in Freetown, Sierra Leone, by Dialogue Talk, a New York-based nonprofit arts and humanities organization if things go as planned.

Chivas DeVinck, Executive Director and Founder of Dialogue Talk says his organization "conducted over 60 interviews with influential thinkers from around the world, including Pulitzer Prize-winners and MacArthur genius award recipients."

The mission of the organization, he added, is "to promote the study, enjoyment and critical inquiry of the arts and humanities by introducing the public to the thoughts, ideas, and perspectives of extraordinary figures from around the world."

Two of the extraordinary figures that have left an especially long-lasting impression on both his organization and audience, Chivas continued, are the poets Syl Cheney-Coker from Sierra Leone and Niyi Osundare from Nigeria.

"This is why I have decided to begin production on a feature-length documentary about their life, art, and friendship entitled: The Poets. I am incredibly honored and humbled to be given this opportunity to share their story with the world. Though, I believe, it’s the least that can be done for two world-class poets."

The Dialogue Talk Executive Director plans to begin shooting the documentary in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on May 1st, with an estimated shooting schedule of 14 days.

"We will then leave for Nigeria to tell Mr Osundare’s portion of the story. Having access to film in-and-around Freetown will be crucial in telling the story of one of Africa’s major poets, Sierra Leone’s very own, Syl Cheney-Coker," he said.

It will be recalled that the distinguished Sierra Leonean literary critic, Professor Eustace Palmer (Doc P.), has written a book on Syl Cheney-Coker, entitled: Emerging Perspectives on Syl Cheney-Coker.

"Our aspiration is to share the story of how a great poet was produced by Sierra Leone. With the bad publicity of Ebola and rebel war, I think it will be refreshing and educating for audiences around the world to hear a different story coming from this dynamic country, " Chivas concluded.

Editor’s Note: Here is Syl Cheyney-Coker reading one of his poems, Our Lady of Diamonds, at an international poetry festival in Colombia, 2007: