How Biodun Stephen’s ‘SISTÀ’ Captured Hearts in Paris

Chinedu Ibeabuchi

Biodun Stephen’s widely-celebrated drama, SISTÀ, released on Amazon Prime, has made a stunning impact at the 11th annual NollywoodWeek Film Festival in Paris, France.
The film won both the Audience Choice and Jury Prize awards for best movie, highlighting its ability to resonate with viewers across cultural boundaries.
SISTÀ, inspired by Biodun Stephen’s upbringing with a single mother, sparked thought-provoking discussions and deep emotional satisfaction among a wide range of movie fans when it was released.
“Single mothers are a blessing to this world. Being one myself, I can relate to every one of her pain. I wept all through because I know that feeling and I realise our stories may differ, but our strength is the same everywhere. I believe the reason most men flee is the same as the man in the movie. I hope that men in similar situations find the courage to do the same, rich or not. These children need you! It was as real as it gets,’ a viewer, Adekitan’s online review underscores SISTÀ’s emotional impact.
SISTÀ wasn’t Stephen’s only success at NollywoodWeek Paris. Her film “ATIKO”, co-produced with Adediwura Blackgold, had the honour of opening the prestigious festival. The overwhelmingly positive audience response to “ATIKO” proved that Stephen’s knack for crafting relatable, impactful stories transcends language barriers.
Biodun Stephen’s NollywoodWeek victories are merely the latest in a string of successes. Her films consistently explore universal themes—love, loss, family, and societal challenges—encapsulated within uniquely Nigerian narratives.
These new awards follow SISTÀ’s impressive track record, having previously won Best Nollywood Drama at the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival (TINFF) and Best Original Score at the International Independent Film Awards. Stephen’s talent has consistently been recognised, with her win for Best Writer at the AMVCA in 2022 for her work on “The Kujus”. Last year at the NollywoodWeek Festival in Paris, her movie The Wildflower, won the Audience Choice award.
SISTÀ was written and directed by Biodun Stephen. She is notable for other films like Breaded Life’, Finding Baami and Picture Perfect.
The success of “SISTÀ” and “ATIKO” at NollywoodWeek Paris, combined with Biodun Stephen’s impressive portfolio, underscore a burgeoning era for Nigerian cinema. The international stage is taking notice, recognising Nollywood’s ability to produce high-quality films that resonate with a global audience.
“I always love to tell stories that resonate and look real, while subtly adding comedy to douse emotional purge. I am thrilled that my films are recognised for their authentic portrayal of African narratives and their ability to connect with global viewers. It’s a victory, not just for me but for Nollywood,” Biodun Stephen said.

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