Interview with director Cibele Santa Cruz (THE MAN FROM THE SWIM LANE ASIDE)

THE MAN FROM THE SWIM LAND ASIDE was the winner of “Best Performances” and “Best Cinematography” at the April 2017 Female Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Cibele Santa Cruz: I received an email from a great friend with just a text, that ended up being used in the last scene of the movie, after he swimmed in the middle swimming lane. It was my inspiration to write the whole script. To tell the path of a man in search of love.

From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took me about 6 years.

How would you describe your short film in two words?

Love and Search

What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this

The biggest obstacle was the the fanancial. The whole filmming, I did with what I was able to get from a crowdfunding and with the whole crew and cast that did it for free. The post production I did with my own resource that I was able to put together.

What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was totally thrilled to see that the film had touched an audience in a different country. Listening to them talkinf about the movie, the details of what marked them was excellent. Thank you so much for this experience!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I really wanted to direct a movie, but it had to have something to do with me. And after writing the script, I read it to my best friend, and she started to alter the script with me. We appointed the text we wanted for each scene, but we thought that they needed to be less common, they needed to be more like the text from the last scene, which was the text that lead me to write the whole script. We wanted it to be kind of weird. So, I asked my poet friend to work with me in the dialogues, and in one afternoon, they were ready. He took the colloquial out and brought the poetry to them, without losing the female point of view.

Then I had the courage to read the script to a group of friends that also work in the movie industry, and all of them thought that I had to do the film. That motivated me, because they are professionals that I admire. A lot of them ended up being a part of the crew in the movie.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

In the mood for love by Wong Kar-wai

What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

I listened to a lot of Caetano Veloso.

What is next for you? A new film?

I am formatting a project for a documentary that I created, and I am also starting to write a TV fiction series, both of the projects I want to direct. In parallel, I continue to work as a Casting Director, and at the moment I am working in two TV series and a movie.



Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: