Rafael Flores is Phi Beta Kappa Scholar who specializes in Directing, Social Justice Film Production, Chicano Cinema, and Third Cinema. Flores is the Arts Director for non-profit United Roots, and the Co-Founder of production company Green Eyed Media, organizations both based in Oakland, CA. His work has been praised by various institutions that include: The White House, The Grammy Foundation, TED-X lecture series, the Cannes International Film Festival, the Writer’s Guild Theater of America, the London Guardian, and the Chicano International Film Festival.
What do you do best?
I am a Writer, Director and Editor, but I am best at inspiring people to tell stories that are original and worthwhile. In my role as Executive Director of Green Eyed Media and the Hidden Gem Arts Incubator, my skills as a storyteller, entrepreneur and educator are used everyday to help marginal artists get their voices heard. In my role as a Lecturer at San Francisco State University and Media Production Manager at Non-profit United Roots, I have developed a strong ability to convey theoretical concepts and production skills to a wide range of diverse students. I also specialize in Latin-American Cinema theory and history, documentary filmmaking and directing actors.
What makes you the best?
My experience as a first-generation Chicano and tri-citizen (Mexico, Canada and U.S.A.) has enabled me to adopt a unique international lens and approach to filmmaking. Being raised by is Ethnic Studies Professor and Psychiatrist has enabled me to build characters and create stories that consider the post-modern identities of the Hip-Hop and Chicano communities. Having been raised in many places along the West Coast, and other countries, my upbringing cultivated an approach to filmmaking that is political and revolutionary. My commitment to the liberation of colonized and oppressed people has led me to Oakland where I work with disenfranchised communities in the non-profit sector. This is where I have been able to train students, who would otherwise not be able to afford a formal education in film production, and grow projects and campaigns that inspire, empower and advance communities of color.
What are your aspirations?
I hope to one day be able to establish a career pathways program to onboard disenfranchised students into the media industry. I also hope to be able to penetrate the commercial film industry with innovative stories that consider marginal communities like Chicanos, Indigenous people and African-Americans.
2010 Cannes International Film Festival
2013 TEX-X lecture “16 Rounds or 24 Frames: The Youth Media Revolution”
2010 Golden Palm Award – Mexico International Film Festival
Best Avante Garde Film – 2016 Chicano International Film Festival
Most Challenging Moment?
When I had to move California and Los Angeles and had to move away from my family, network and friends. I lived in my car in Hollywood after I went to Cannes and graduated with my MFA. I was over-qualified for gigs and I could not get a job. So I moved back to Oakland to work for the community and make more money on creative projects.
“I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees” – Emiliano Zapata
Favorite People/Role Models?
Jose Angel Gutierrez
Final Cut Pro
Black Magic Cinema Camera
My new marriage