Making Genre Films With Alessandra Pinkston

Resiliancy seems to be just one of the words actress, writer, and award-winning filmmaker Alessandra Pinkston stands by. Every artist understands that to fully persue your craft takes an almost inhuman amount of patience and double the effort. Alessandra not only has an inspirational reminder etched on her arm, the Chicago native is currently navigating Los Angeles with television network appearances and her own film production space, KindredQuest, Inc., a map for diverse, leading roles in genre projects. 

Catching up with Alessandra in the thick of a volatile summer, all in temperature, entertainment and political tone, it is again crucial to highlight the necessity of hope. Of remaining steadfast in one's vision. Alessandra's clear on where horror has been and holds the key on where horror is going.

Tell us about yourself. What horror film, TV show, or books and magazines prompted your interest in the genre so much that it lead you to creating your own stories?

I’ve been loving horror films since I was a child. The first horror film that intrigued me when I was a little girl was The People Under The Stairs, I had never seen a person of color be the lead in a horror film. My family and I always watched that film. I’ve seen that movie so many times I lost count. Then my family became hooked on Candyman. Although People was something that caught my eye, my family and I focused on Candyman because it was shot in Chicago, my hometown. So we would see certain buildings and it resonated with us because it was where we were from. Not only that, but there was this tall, eerie Black man who was the villain. That, I had never seen before. I thought it was awesome seeing people that looked like me star in those kinds of films. Before that, I had only seen people of color in dramas, comedies and musicals.

As I got older, I saw the lack of women of color in the genre, and I thought that it would be great if I could flip that and have women who were Asian, Latinas, African-American and Native American star in great horror films.

KindredQuest seems to deliberately not only to produce genre films, but to truly open the door for actors of any ethnicity, and women, to play leading roles. How do you think horror, sci-fi, supernatural, and action films benefit from positioning people of color at the forefront?

I never saw why we couldn’t be in the forefront of films besides dramas and comedies. Perhaps, from the studios perspective, the films wouldn’t sell. But these days, due to social media connecting people from different cultures and more people of color bringing this issue to light, things are different. I believe that people of different races are more connected now, and this generation is more open to seeing new things. And I’m proud of my generation for taking that stand. I believe that we millennials are going to change the world, and I want to help accomplish that through my films. So by putting people of color in the films that were closed to us, it shows a new day and age and brings unity amongst all races.

For those looking at the trailers for The Testament of Karma and The Final Days of the Law, what other topics do you look to address in your work? What themes/topics fascinate you as an artist that you’d like to explore more?

I practice Nichiren Buddhism, so believe it or not, my films always have a spiritual aspect to them. Even when it is a horror film and there is blood and guts and gore. It’s always an underlying subject. I write about things that I dream about, that I experience, or things that I read online. So there is always something about spirituality, love, racism, sexism, inequality, rebirth, unity, and positive vs. negative energy in the things that I create.

What have been some of your recent, most enjoyable horror film viewing experiences?

Horror films to me are a thrill ride! I absolutely love watching them. When I was in college, I used to make my friends watch all of these intense horror films with me and I would find a way to scare them during the film when nothing scary was even happening. I’ve never been afraid of a horror film until I watched Sinister 2.

THAT movie scared the living daylights out of me. I had nightmares about that film. And to make it worse, it was so well done that I couldn’t stop watching it. A normal person would be afraid of a movie and decide to never watch it again. Nope; not me. I watched that movie, got scared, then made other people watch it with me. Yeah…I couldn't sleep by myself for a while after watching that film. The cinematography, the music, the editing, the acting, all of those things were beautifully put together in that film. Sinister 2 is one of my favorite horror films.

How do you feel about the genre film industry right now? What will KindredQuest do and continue to do to make consumers feel like they’re getting something entertaining, fresh, and unique?

I feel positive about it! I’m absolutely loving that the film industry is being more open to diversity. My goal is to have KindredQuest connect with people on a personal level. We want people to watch our films and walk away feeling good. We want to inspire people and rather we make people laugh, cry, or enlighten them, we want to be a positive part of their lives. I’m a very altruistic individual, and I want to make people feel whole.

Do you have any other ideas for films that you can share at this time?

We have tons of ideas, but everyone will be able to see our ideas once the films are released.

You can follow Alessandra on Twitter (@MsADanae)

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