(2021; 107 min.)

"The rarefied world of Alli’s characters points to a more substantial reality
than the empty-image limbo the masses inhabit. Alli’s vision typically reaches
beyond materiality to a timeless, unrestricted zone forever on hand to inspire
those of us out of step with, or awake to more than, the zeitgeist."

- Observer of Times, Eastern Australia

Watch the Trailer


~ A Psychological Romance ~

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 struggles 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, Reviews & Responses, Stills,
Vision Statement,
Filmography, I.M.Db, Contact Point

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

~ 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 Phineas,
the story's central character, her real world boyfriend relationship starts to
As Hope continues projecting herself into her story, it becomes
clear that Phineas is not merely a figment of her writerly imagination.
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.

~ 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.

Film reviews and Viewer Responses

"Reinventing the Romantic" -- Vision statement

Stills from the film and Filmography


Covid precautions were followed in this production.