Helen Alexis Yonov is a Latvian-American filmmaker. Although born and raised in Newport, Rhode Island, Alexis also grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Moscow, USSR/Russia. Her experiences living and traveling overseas created an appreciation for different cultures and foreign cinema, which influences her as a filmmaker. After moving to Los Angeles in 2002, Alexis began her career working as a Set Production Assistant on such feature films as Seabiscuit, Anchorman, War of the Worlds, and Elizabethtown.

Inspired by her overseas upbringing, Alexis moved to Paris, France in 2011 in order to return to her European roots. During her time in France, she attained her Latvian citizenship, which allows her to work within the European Union (E.U.)

After returning to Los Angeles in 2018, Alexis wrote and directed the short film “The Gesture and the Word” and the #metoo PSA – “We Stand Together.”

“The Gesture and The Word” is a heart-warming romance that has screened worldwide, including the Oscar-qualifying L.A. Shorts International Film Festival (2020,) HollyShorts (2020,) and Cleveland International Film Festival (2021.) The film has won 50+ awards, including several Best Director, Best Female Director, and Best Short Film awards.

“We Stand Together” is a #metoo PSA that blends fashion and beauty with the idea that we are more than what meets the eye and that our greatest strength is found in unity. It has screened worldwide and won a 2021 silver Telly Award, among others.

FILM IN COMPETITION : The gesture & the word

A lonely postman (Gilbert) lives vicariously through hand-drawn postcards that a woman (Aurore) receives from her boyfriend (Eric) as he travels around the world. When the postcards suddenly stop, Gilbert begins to secretly recreate them. With the help of his friend Mr. Rostalle, (Paul Dooley) a blind widower and retired literary professor and poet, Gilbert (James Michael Tyler) learns to open himself up to the prospect of love, and in the process of trying to bring someone else happiness, discovers it for himself as he learns to express his feelings for the neighborhood floriset (Eloïse.)