THE GESTURE AND THE WORD directed by Helen Alexis Yonov
THE GESTURE AND THE WORD directed by Helen Alexis Yonov

The award-winning short film, The Gesture and the Word written and directed by filmmaker Helen Alexis Yonov, competes for Best Narrative Short at the prestigious Oscar® qualifying LA Shorts International Film Festival. If it wins, it becomes eligible for an Oscar® nomination. The screening is scheduled on October 6, 2020 on the Comedy Program 3. This is the short’s Los Angeles Premiere.

The Gesture and the Word tells the story of Gilbert, a lonely postman who secretly recreates postcards for a woman on his mail delivery route when her boyfriend’s homemade postcards stop arriving from his travels around the world. With the help of his friend Mr. Rostalle, a blind widower and retired literary professor, Gilbert learns to open himself up to the prospect of love, and in the process of trying to bring someone else’s happiness, he discovers it for himself.

The film stars James Michael Tyler as Gilbert, Paul Dooley as Mr. Rostalle, Nicole LaLiberté as Eloïse, Roxane Mesquida as Aurore, and Andrew Creer as Eric; and has collected the following accolades: Best Short Film | U.K. Motion Picture Festival; Best Female Director | Montreal International Independent Film Festival; Best Art Director & Best Cinematography | British Film Festival; and Best Costumes | Prague International Film Festival.

“With the film festivals going virtual, I must not feel as if I have lost something because things have changed. I must seek ways to spread awareness of my work. It doesn’t behoove you to mourn the loss of attending physical film festivals. As they alter their platform, be on top of it and change with them. As technology changes, find a way to use it to your advantage,” says director Helen Alexis Yonov.

Director Helen Alexis Yonov is a Latvian-American filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She is the fourth generation of her family to live and work in Hollywood. However, she was born in Newport, Rhode Island and, through her father’s Naval career, she grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1984-86) and Moscow, USSR/Russia (1990-92). Her experiences living and traveling overseas created an appreciation for different cultures and foreign cinema, which influenced her decision to live in Paris, France from 2011-18. After attending Emerson College in Boston, Helen Alexis moved to Los Angeles in 2002 where she began working as a set P.A.. In 2008, she wrote and directed the award-winning short film, THE WEIGHT OF IT. While living in Paris, she worked on several screenplays, one of which she is writing as a novel, as well as directed commercials. It was during her time in Paris that she found the inspiration to write her award-winning short film, THE GESTURE AND THE WORD, which she directed upon her return to Los Angeles. She is now developing a feature version of the film. In addition, she has another feature film, THE TIME OF THE WOLVES, in development, which is thematically inspired by her experience during the 2015 attacks in Paris.

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