In 2009 he debuted as a director with the 35mm short film 'MAVELA', selected by the Austin Fantastic Fest and continued with a successful run in festivals across USA and Canada. In 2010 he directed 'La Piñata' and was the winner of Amacort Short Film Festival 2010(Rimini, Italy), he also received a Fulbright Scholarship for film directing at SVA NYC.
He directed and produced 'Little Appliances'(2012) distributed by Filmin. His film 'No Kissing'(2014) was awarded 1st Prize in Shnit International Short Film Festival selected by Paul Haggis(Crash, In the Valley of Elah, Show Me a Hero), and it has won other awards and accolades from many other festivals.
In Manuel's career he has received more than 50 awards and has been selected for 150 festivals. 2020 sees the finishing of the post production of his first feature film, ULTRAinocencia, not yet released.
For many years I was looking for the perfect story for my first feature film. I found it accidentally in a theatre play called 'Ultrainocencia'.
It moved me. I identified with those characters who follow the call of their inquisitive minds, sacrificing everything and even if it means that in the immense majority of times that they achieve absolutely nothing. Nothing. A useless sacrifice for what you believe in. An irrational sacrifice that in the current society equates to a life of failure.
Nonetheless, those losers woke up in me the need to vindicate them. A sense of admiration was born, even jealousy for feeling loyal to their irrational motivations and to not stir away from them in the face of adversity. But also a deep sadness to know the lack of reward that awaits them.
All for nothing.
'Ultrainocencia' it's a film about religion, the belief in the unknown and the inexplicable, but for me it also links with the search of any unattainable goal in music, literature, photography or any other form of art.Together with the original authors of the play we merged all our artistic experiences, our own miseries and those scarce moments that feel like great success.
There was a catharsis that transformed the original play into something completely new. Ultrainocencia' starts as an impossible search: to prove the existence of God. It has been four years of hard work to see this film happen ,and at times I've felt that the premise of the film, an unattainable goal, was now my own life.
Fortunately I wasn't alone and that has helped me realize that even the biggest challenges can be conquered. Perhaps we can't face the impossible, nor we can find the answers we're looking for, but in the way I'm sure we can find answers to other questions, equally important, that we wouldn't have asked ourselves any other way.