Latino Director and Cinematographer Receives International Awards for "Poolside" Short
Dallas-based director Alex Kinter may be fairly new on the film directing scene, but his new "Poolside" indie short has already generated serious buzz. The short, which delves deep into the psyche of a lonely high society woman in the 1950s, has been making the rounds through the festival circuit, winning a variety of awards, and is expected to be on Amazon Prime Video in January 2022.
Although Kinter has worked as a freelancer for 15 years, this is his first significant foray into directing a story-based film rather than a commercial one. This cinematography practice he's built up over the years seems to have benefitted his ability to bring a gorgeous story to the big screen, as "Poolside" has won awards like Gold Award for Best Cinematography at the Independent Shorts Awards and Best Cinematography at Across the Globe Film Festival.
Filming for "Poolside" actually started over four years ago, with Kinter and his co-director Erik Schuessler working together to brainstorm the story, the script, and the overall direction of the process. Sadly, there were many delays during the filming, and Erik Schuessler sadly passed away in 2018, causing more bumps in the road and requiring Kinter to think about the project in a different light - as a tribute to his previous creative partner.
Currently, "Poolside" is moving through film festivals in LA, NYC, and even some European countries, including Portugal and Scotland, and recently it's started to pick up speed in Latin America as well. Though he spent some time in Colombia and Venezuela as a child, Kinter has still often felt disconnected from his Latin roots in South America, and recently, he's felt a drive to reconnect.
Kinter has partnered with Daniel Guerra, a Latin American publicist in Bogota, Colombia who works with a production company named CírculoEspeletia. That partnership has started to pay off, as "Poolside" has been selected for the Sci-Fi, Terror, and Fantasy Film Festival, a film festival in Bogotá, Colombia, and it's also been submitted to festivals like Villa del Cine and Bogotá Experimental Film Festival. The combination of Kinter's position as a Latino filmmaker and the addition of Giovannie Cruz, a Latina supporting actress, has made some Latin American and South American film festivals take notice.
The success of "Poolside" may be in part due to Kinter's drive to succeed, which started when he was a young child. He grew up mostly in California and Colombia, and from early childhood, he loved pictures. His father had film cameras laying around that he wasn't allowed to touch, and his uncle was a documentary film producer, with a wife who enjoyed film photography. As early as high school, Kinter was already interested in buying his first DSLR, and that one camera eventually turned into the success he's experienced with "Poolside."
Among the accolades "Poolside" has received include Best Thriller Short at the Indie Short Fest, Best Experimental Short Film at the Hollywood Blvd Film Festival, and Best Cinematographerat the European Cinematography Awards. So, what is it that's drawing these critics in so completely? "Poolside" has combined experimental cinematography with a unique story that's become appealing to a worldwide festival audience.
The movie's story revolves around a 1950s housewife, Meg Stephens, who lives in a real house that would cost about $2.2 million in today's money. She seems to have it all: wealth, a gorgeous home, and an upper-class place in society. However, underneath that veneer of perfection lies a dangerous truth - she's been left to handle her own inner demons with alcohol, Librium, and Valium.
Things build to a head when Meg realizes she's starting to hear voices while swimming in her home's indoor pool. The cleaning lady, Emma, experiences a terrifying horror while alone in the house and refuses to keep working for the house. As she's isolated in the swimming pool, Meg has to battle with self-doubt, addiction, loss, and fear, a complicated cocktail that she may not be able to handle. It all takes place against the backdrop of the gorgeous home, which may turn into a nightmare for the characters.
As Kinter worked on the film, he actually started feeling as though the film would end up flopping. As he expressed to Just Fame, "The project was so far behind and a major partner in the film passed away, so we were kind of down about it and didn't really have any kind of expectation." Those extremely low expectations ended up paying off, as the warm reception on the film circuit was completely unexpected and had an even better impact.
Today, Kinter'shoping to build off this reception to catapult himself into the world of feature films. He's disclosed that there are multiple feature film scripts that he's interested in starting to develop, hoping to bring some investors onboard. He also runs his own commercial video production company, Kinter Media, where he's worked with clients ranging from nonprofit organizations to Fortune 500 companies.
If you're interested in learning more about "Poolside," including watching the trailer and finding the full list of festival accolades, visit Alex Kinter at http://aloneatthepool.com/.
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