The Bite Magazine - Autmn/Winter 2020 - Issue 28

bitedirectorsspotlight Giedre Jackyte interviewed Helen Alexis Yonov about her short film The Gesture and The Word which won several awards and is being nominated for Best Narrative Short at the prestigious Os- car-qualifying festival at the LA Shorts International Film Festival. Helen Alexis Yonov S ince the dawn of time, people across the globe had one thing in common - the need to express themselves and pass their wisdom on to generations. When we hear the timeless wis- dom in these stories, it resonates with us, leaving a mark in our psyche, which in turn starts to elevate us from the inside out. Being a storyteller and able to move people by your stories is undoubted- ly not an easy task, but indeed it is gratifying. Those blessed with the ability to dwell in the depths of the soul have been admired for hundreds of years and I believe they will be admired for many years to come. One such storyteller is the charming, intelligent and talented Helen Alexis Yonov, with whom I had the pleasure of talking to, not only about her award-winning short movie but also about the challeng- ing yet beautiful journey that life is. Helen is a Latvian-American filmmaker who calls herself ‘a nomad and an adventurer’. “Your roots can be in so many different places,” she said. “The home is where the heart is, and my heart is in a lot of places.” It is no sur- prise to hear the filmmaker say this since she is the daughter of naval diplomats and was travelling the world since she was a child. Helen was born in Newport, Rhode Island. Amongst the different countries she lived in, she grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia be- tween 1984 and 1986 and Moscow, Russia between 1990 and 1992. Her experiences living and travelling overseas created an apprecia- tion for different cultures and foreign cinema which influenced her decision to live in Paris, France, for seven years between 2011 and 2018. She is now back in the USA, based in Los Angeles, California. The Gesture and The Word Director’s Spotlight Helen Alexis Yonov