Alina Vita Kulesh is, first and foremost, a poet. Yes, she is a director and a writer, but in her work and in her life, she carries herself with a poet’s generosity and precision. She brings an aesthetic of sensitivity to her storytelling, and takes great care to be exact in the depth of emotions she captures.
I’ve had the monumental gift of being transformed by Alina’s generosity, whether through unendingly supportive friendship or keen eye in edits. And I’ve been lucky to watch her precision at work, coming through in her bringing to life a vision with astounding clarity.
You, too, can see this at work in BABY BLUE, Alina’s first independent short film which she wrote, produced and directed. It played in film festivals in LA, Portland and Toronto, and won multiple awards including Best Director. That precision is also the guiding force behind her follow up film LITTLE SOUL, which was acquired by the CBC.
In all dimensions, poets elevate. And that’s what Alina does: In words and images, Alina tells stories that move, inspire, shatter — stories that are alive and vital.
-Written by dear friend, Elamin Abdelmahmoud.
Which ‘hood are you in?
I live in West Queen West, around Little Portugal. This neighbourhood has a lot of life; primarily because of the many small businesses that pepper the streets. You can also see some great street fashion, and there are no shortage of dogs to pet – which is the most important thing.
I bought a loft and moved in a few days before the country went into lockdown. Although it’s been a challenging time, I’ve really enjoyed having the time to make my space a home.
What do you do?
I’m a filmmaker and commercial director. I started out as a copywriter in interactive production, working my way to creative director level, before I realized I have many stories to tell and a vision to honour. Looking back at it now, I’ve never been the type of writer who sees words first as an introduction to the story; I’m the type of writer who sees images, fragmented visuals, and I decode them through words. Film, then, feels like such a natural way of self-expression.
I made the transition two years ago and it has significantly enriched my life.
What are you currently working on?
I’m always writing, so I have a lot of different baskets to put my eggs into (this sounds weird, but you get it). The project I’m mostly excited about is DOUBLE DUTCH, a short-to-feature that I’m currently in various stages of development and financing. It’s a coming-to-age story that is inspired by my growing up in Scarborough. I love the characters in it so much, they are like daughters to me.
Where can we find your work?
You can watch my second short, LITTLE SOUL, on CBC Gem (bit.ly/LittleSoulFilm).
My work, nature, mental health, and my dog frequently on my Instagram @alinakulesh.
I also try to keep my web portfolio up to date here – www.alinakulesh.com
And my commercial director work is on fyfeshader.com/director/alina-vita