Private Project

The secret of iyas

Alidou, a musician from Benin, wonders about the Gèlèdè rite. He goes to Sagon, a Voodooist village in Benin, to the heart of a society ordered by a woman called Iyalashè. Sharing the daily life of the villagers, he goes from meeting to meeting as he attempts to gain insight into these beliefs maintained by The Iyas. After his initiation he participates in a rare and exceptional ceremony and by the end of his quest comes to realise the guiding and unifying role of the Gèlèdè cult.

  • Noyalet cyrill
  • Noyalet cyrill
  • Must be productions
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Le secret des iyas
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    51 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 15, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD CAM
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • special mention of jury in Quintessence 2015
    Ouidah (benin) Quintessence
    January 10, 2015
    North American status
    Special mention of jury
Director Biography - Noyalet cyrill

After studying in the documentary department at La Femis School in Paris Cyrill Noyalet worked for 10 years with the Nago-Yorouba community in Central Benin.

His work is inspired by filmmaker Jean Rouch and his notion of an anthropologie partagée, or shared anthropology.
Noyalet’s crew is made up of French and Benin professional technicians and a Benin theatre troupe. This interaction is a fundamental principal underpinning the film. With the help of this team, Noyalet began making a memorial at a time when modernity threatens to desacralize and folklorize traditional practices.

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Director Statement

The film The Secret of Iyas, is a truly collaborative project because for almost 10 years we worked with the Voodou Gèlèdè communities of Benin to realise the project. The writing of the film was also made with the close collaboration of initiates to capture the essence of their reality.

Prize and selection :

Caravane des cinémas d'Afrique - Lyon

« Quintessence » - Ouidah - Special mention of jury

« En avant les premières » - Cannes

« L'autre et le sacré »
comité Jean Rouch - Paris (Palais de la porte dorée) -

« Afrique en résonance » - Lyon –

- Selection films of la Femis in Grans (83) –