After Jorge Manzano graduated from U of T with a cinema studies degree in 1994, Nepantla Films was born with his first film, the short City of Dreams. Nepantla is a Nahuatl word that describes the reality of living between various worlds and identities.
Jorge’s last short, The Letter (2007) was broadcast on Movieola and CHCH. His opera prima, Johnny Greyeyes, premiered at Sundance 2000 and was released theatrically in Canada and broadcast on Showcase, IFC, APTN and Here TV in the USA. It is the recipient of: the Bulloch Award for Best Canadian Film at insideOut; the Freedom Award at Outfest; Best Director at the American Indian Film Festival; The Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature at The New York International Independent Film & Video Festival; and Best Director, Festival of Human Rights, Sucre, Boliva.
City of Dreams screened at Sundance in 1999, and has received several awards: Best Actor for Geoffrey Daybutch at Dreamspeakers Film and Video Festival 1997; Best Drama at the Native Indian and Inuit Photographer’s Association’s Video Binge 1997; and Best Documentary at The New Frontiers Film and Video Festival 1995.
The chapter entitled “Living Within and Between Various Worlds and Identities: A Conversation with Jorge Manzano,” appeared in the book Screening Culture. Constructing Image and Identity, (edited by Heather Norris Nicholson, 2003) , and was dedicated to his filmmaking practice.
His thesis screenplay, “El Golpe” (2013), was shortlisted for the Sundance Film Festival's screenwriting lab and for the Tribeca Institutes' All Access Program.
Jorge produced Samuel Lopez’s recently completed feature documentary, The Sugarcane (2013), and is involved in the director’s current production, Johnny Vaya con Dios, which is set in El Salvador.
Jorge is also producing the feature drama La Voz de la Lluvia, written by Mapuche poet Jaime Huenun (Guggenheim Fellow, “Redacciones” (2013), recipient of the Chile’s National Council of Literature and Poetry prize 2013), and to be directed by Francisco Huichaqueo. He is also in production with the feature documentary and transmedia project Los Dueños del Agua (The Water Guardians), a co-production between Nepantla Films Inc., Araucania Digital and Kinoki.
by . The Toronto Star, Sept. 8, 2000.