Alexandre Plesis

Born in France, in Le Havre in Normandy, in 1993. Alexandre starts his ballet practice in his hometown and decides to become a ballet dancer. At the age of 17, he enters the National Superior Conservatoire in Paris. In 2015, Alexandre graduates from the National Superior Conservatoire of Lyon.

After a few small contracts in ballet companies based in France, he is hired in 2016 in the Bucharest 
National Opera in Romania. After a few years in the ensemble, Alexandre is noticed for his acting and ballet technique, and is being given many soloist roles. When he moved to Romania, he met Rachel Gil, a ballerina of the Opera. After creating a few choreographies for her, and building with her a strong connection on stage as partners, Alexandre decides to dedicate a movie to her, his very first movie, Reign on my Skin.


"About two years ago, I had a dream. I was coughing. Something was blocked in my throat and I
was coughing to try and release it. After a few attempts, I coughed harder, and a nest of bees came
out, flying out of my mouth.
After this dream I felt released, and in the very next days I wrote Reign on my Skin.
I saw it as a sign. Reign on my Skin was written in peace, but was born out of violence.
I have always been curious, attracted and fascinated by the emotional paradox we are to face as
human beings, and how these emotions can bring chaos within and yet define our humanity.
What other choice do we have than to keep rolling our stone up at the top of the hill like Sisyphus,
even when everything is falling down?
Reign on my Skin raises that question.
How the artist, in full dedication of their artform, keeps practicing when filled by the void of his
How the dancer, the ballerina, finds the power to come on stage and give to the audience her
physical and emotional self, when she is torn between insecurity, excitement and pain?
How the lover keeps loving, when both uplifted and destroyed?
Reign on my Skin raises this question, though without having the pretention to bring “the” answer,
but maybe a potential one, a possibility for the light.
Rachel Gil is a ballerina I had the chance to meet in my life, and to build a strong connection with
on stage.
It was obvious she would be “Her” in the movie.
Rachel has this particularity, rare in a ballerina, to convey and invoke when she dances both a
beautiful fragility and an untamable violence.
She is the center of the movie and everything gravitates around her. She is the rock of Reign on my
Skin, all the rest is uncertain.
Does she think of “Him” as her lover, or her dance partner?
Does he exist, or is he the part of herself she keeps concealed?
What is the truth and what is fantasy?
I don't know...
All I know is that she's here."


Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about ?
Reign on my Skin is a short movie led by two actors who also are ballet dancers, Rachel Gil and myself. It presents a reflexion, almost like an essay, and draws a parallel between Love and Art, through the physical and emotional dedication these two entities require and need to survive.

What are your ambitions with your project ?
Reign on my Skin is my very first movie. For now my only ambition is for this movie to find an audience, hoping it would touch people somehow or at least create a resonance within them.

Tell us something about your shooting ? What pleasantly surprised you ?
Being for that movie both actor and director, I discovered the dissociation between acting and editing, the difference between what is being felt and perceived while shooting, and what appears on screen afterwards. The importance and responsibility of the editing struck me, how a scene can completetely change its meaning depending where you decide to place it in the movie and how you treat the image inside the story. I wasn’t aware before how far you could change directions in the editing process. It interested me a lot and even gave me possible keys to use in the direction of actors and how to approach certain scenes in the future. What pleasantly surprised me otherwise was how the movie somehow lives by itself. There were times I felt the movie was getting away from me, creating links I didn’t see and bringing other perceptions than my original ones, just as if the movie was also putting some pieces together by itself and I had to follow it. It was very interesting to experience. I am curently writing my next movie and I cannot wait to see where it will take me.


For what group of spectators is your film targeted ?
I would say anyone who has the curiosity to discover the movie. I don’t know if I believe in targets in cinema. I think whether a movie is liked or not is not really the question, it has more to do in my
opinion with having the curiosity and availability to discover a story, one director’s universe and vision, and to feel something, anything.

Why should distributors buy your film ?
I would say they should buy my film if they were caught by it, by the story, by the style or even the potential they could think I have and to decide to buy it as a way to promote this one or support me in my next projects.

How would you specify your work ? What characterizes your film ?
Originally being a ballet dancer, I have a certain knowledge and approach of the body. The base of my work as a dancer, choreographer or director is the emotions and the impact they have on the body. I do not believe in working on the technique and then the emotion. I believe the emotion is the base and has to be the root of the movement. So it is for acting, and so it is for directing. What I want to explore is the emotional and physical connection between the actor, the director and the camera, all linked by the same emotions of the scene and the body state this emotion creates. I see it as an act of communion and an act of humanity, when something a bit beyond our condition is being shared. I guess it also is my way of taking care of the actors. If a scene is demanding for them it has to be for me also. I guess it is my way to share that moment with them, to direct them and guide them.



Why did you decide to become a filmmaker ?
To be honest it happened a bit by accident...but a beautiful one. 

Who is your role model ?
I don’t really have a role model. I feel touched and inspired by many people. Of course regarding cinema I am inspired by some movie directors and actors, but I do believe that the inspiration I feel from other artists and people around me in my private life and intimacy is as important. I usually am attracted and inspired by free spirits. The ones who own who they are and don’t try to fit in a box they « should » fit in. I like the beauty and the insolence. The actors I choose usually are my models in the sense that I create for them and they inspire me the movie.

Which movies are your favorites ? Why ?

I always find it difficult to answer this question as it feels a bit reductive to narrow it down to movie names, as opposed to the general work of a director. I could say I was particularly touched by the emotional violence in the work of Michael Haneke, the humanity of Xavier Dolan’s characters, and the dark exploration of humankind in Lars Von Trier’s movies. I do believe Melancholia is one of the greatest films I’ve seen. My favorite movies usually are the ones provoking a strong reaction in me, the ones that leave a trace.

Where do you look for inspiration for your films ?

Nowhere. I never look for inspiration while I am creating a piece or writing a movie, at least on a conscient level. I try to be as instinctive as possible. The only thing I usually do is listening to music because it can help me to connect with my emotions and guide a bit the writing.

Which topics interest you the most ?

None in particular. What interests and guides me the most is the connection between human beings and the emotions we have to go through because of our condition.

What do you consider the greatest achievement in your career ?

The moments I am sincere.

What do you consider most important about filming ?
The emotional connection with the actor and the respect and love for who he is and what he is
offering you.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best ?

The appropriate one for the emotional state of the scene.

How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking ?

I don’t really have an opinion. I am very curious to see and discover what is being done.

What can disappoint you in a movie ?

I guess the mediocrity in how a character is built, defended and shown.

Who supports you in your film careers ?
The actors more importantly, but of course also the people that help me, and my very closed ones.

What are the reactions to your films ? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friend and family)

Up until now the reactions have been positive and quite intense for some of them. Some found it hard to watch at times, some cried, some stayed silent for a while before speaking. All the people who saw the movie liked it until now. What matters to me the most beyond the movie being liked is that it provokes reactions, which seems to be the case. I guess it should be the only goal to have when we try to create a piece as emotionally sincere as possible. So for now I am happy with the reactions.

Have you already visited any of the prestigious movie festivals ?

No, but I can’t wait. It’d be an honor and great pleasure to be part of a festival and to discover many different films.

What are your future plans in filmmaking carriere ?

I am currently writing a movie for an all women cast, an emotional interconnection between all characters through grief and the acceptance of a life that is about to end. I have now the agreement of all my main actresses and am drawing the storyline.