Rafael Manuel is a Filipino filmmaker currently based in between London, Amsterdam, and Manila. Among numerous awards and prizes across festivals around the world, his latest short film ‘Filipiñana’, won the Silver Bear Jury Prize at the 70th Berlinale International Film Festival and was nominated for the Best British Short Film at the British Independent Film Awards 2020.
His foundations are in philosophy and visual communications which he studied at the Ateneo de Manila University. Before taking up his MA in filmmaking at the London Film School, he worked as a copywriter for Saatchi & Saatchi and as a creative director for TBWA. Rafael's work in cinema has been featured by ARTE, the Criterion Collection, Variety, Screen Daily, Cineuropa, the New York Times, Forbes, & Vice.
He is currently developing his first 2 feature films: 'Filipiñana' (based on his short of the same title), with the support of Film 4, the Cannes Cinéfondation La Residence, the Berlinale Script Station, the BFI network, Tokyo Talents, Oxbelly Lab & the Locarno Filmmakers Academy, and 'Patrimonio', with the support of the Hubert Bals Fund and the Prince Claus Seed Award. In 2022, Rafael was chosen by Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke to be his protegee at the Rolex Arts Inititative.