Born to a Latvian mother and Polish father who worked for an airline, Monika Ivonne found herself jumping from country to country throughout her childhood. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Monika and her family moved from Lithuania, to Russia (St. Petersburg & Moscow), to Latvia, and France. She completed her undergraduate studies at an American University in Rome, Italy. Upon her graduation, Monika moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA Film School where she obtained an MFA degree in film directing. She currently resides between Los Angeles and Riga.
As a Latvian who moved to America, my short film “Oma” depicts one of my greatest fears: loss of culture. Latvia is a small and frequently unheard of country, with an increase in the number of locals who move abroad. With an international background, I’ve come to learn about various cultural tradition, food, and history all over the world. For me, it’s important to portray these aspects in film, whether it’s through a language, a recipe, an actor, or anything else.