Pride On Film: The Black Harvest Film Fest Part 1 of 8
Photos courtesy of Alessandra Pinkston KindredQuest Films
Chicago native Alessandra Pinkston is equally beautiful as she is talented. Pinkston has starred in many roles on popular cable networks from The Discovery Channel to the Style Network. In 2010 she founded KindredQuest Films, an independent studio, which according to its website is dedicated to “produce fine art with a purpose.”
Pinkston is the featured Actress, Writer, Director and Executive Producer of the short film “The Testament of Karma,” a suspense thriller which finds Karman Hyde awakened in a bathtub filled with water and finds a young stranger standing over her. As she tries to escape the stranger tortures her with horrid details of her life. “The Testament of Karma,” will be shown along with six other shorts in the Black Harvest Film Festival’s Short Program: Made In Chicago on August 4th and 9th at the Gene Siskle Film Center. Pinkston talked with PrideIndex via email from Los Angeles here’s what she shared about the film, her style and what’s next.
PRIDEINDEX (PI): When did you first know that you wanted to be a filmmaker?
ALESSANDRA PINKSTON (AP): I’ve wanted to be an actress since I was about five years old, and I began acting professionally when I was eleven. I’ve always been attracted to roles that had strong characters; I observed at a young age that most roles given to young women had no depth to them. In a sense, they bored me. So my aunt told me that since I’m a writer and actress, I may as well create my own films. So that’s what I did.
PI: Why did you make “The Testament of Karma? “
AP: I’ve always been a huge fan of films in the suspense/thriller/sci-fi/horror genres. While I was writing “The Testament of Karma,” I was interested in creating something dark, intriguing and attention-getting. So the film was created out of that inspiration.
PI: On KindredQuest Films, Inc’s website it says that you like make “unique films,” what do you mean by “unique?’
AP: My goal for KindredQuest Films, INC. is to make films that an audience usually does not see. Because so many films with almost the same substance are given to the public, it’s hard for film lovers to actually enjoy the film. They already know what’s coming by the middle of the movie. I love watching films that are written with twists, where you think one thing is going to happen but the complete opposite occurs. The art of giving what is not expected is not an easy thing to do, but it’s something that I’m dedicated to.
PI: “The … Karma” recently played at the Women’s International Film Fest, how was it received there?
AP: I was so excited about my film playing there! It was received very well; I’ve heard only positive things.
PI: You wear several hats in front of and behind the camera in this project; did you ever consider hiring another actress to play the lead role?
AP: I never considered hiring another actress to play the role. I consider myself an actress first, a writer second. I love creating roles for myself; I get to play characters that I’ve always wanted to play.
PI: Name at least three people who have had the most influence over your artistic style.
AP: Honestly, I don’t have anyone specific who inspires me with filmmaking. I simply enjoy a great film. Although I am inspired by actresses within a film, three of my top favorites are Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett and I think Kerry Washington is great.
PI: If your filmmaking style were a dish, would it be closer to (A.) an exotic hors d’oevre or (B.) an exotic dessert.
AP: Great question! Hmmm…I’m going to have to go with chocolate lava cake. Almost everyone loves chocolate cake, and sometimes the lava is a surprise for some people. I love giving the unexpected.
PI: If you were given the opportunity to work with any filmmaker of your choosing, who would you choose?
AP: I would LOVE to work with the Hughes Brothers or M. Night Shyamalan! The Hughes Brothers offers deep stories with deep characters while still maintaining an incredible focus on delivering great shots, and M. Night always gives the audience that eerie substance that I love.
PI: When looking at the closing credits for “The…Karma” I noticed there were more people working from behind the scenes than in front of the camera; is this typical of most short films?
AP: It actually depends on how many characters are written in the story. I’ve been on sets where there were more people in front of the camera than behind.
PI: Has your family seen “The..Karma” if so what were their thoughts?
AP: My family saw the film. They were so supportive and most of them loved it. A couple of them aren’t into films of that genre, but they loved it simply because I created it.
PI: What other projects are you working on right now?
AP: I’m currently in a choreopoem called “Pieces” in Los Angeles. Audience members get to see me performing poetry, something I’ve been doing since I was a teen. I also get to rap, which is really fun for me. I’m also getting ready to shoot a short film in September, almost done finishing the first feature-length script for KindredQuest Films and I’m currently creating a web series with one of my cast mates from the play “Pieces.” So…I’ve been super busy!
PI: In one sentence, briefly sum up what you want audiences to take away from “The …Karma?”
AP: I really want film members to enjoy the intensity of the film and hope that they want more!
PI: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
AP: Yes! Please continue to support the movie and KindredQuest Films! I’ve gotten a lot of positive reviews and am gearing up for The Black Harvest Film Festival. The film will be shown there. To purchase a ticket click here.