Rafael Flores is a bilingual documentary and narrative filmmaker of Mexican-Lithuanian ancestry. He is Phi Beta Kappa Scholar who holds a Masters of Fine Arts specializing in Directing, Social Justice Film Production, Chicano Cinema, and Third Cinema. He also holds a BA in Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies from the University Washington. He is currently a lecturer at San Francisco State University who teaches Latin-American Cinema, Digital Film Production, Screenwriting and Documentary film theory.
Rafael Flores is the Administrative Director of the Hidden Gem Creative Studios, Co-Founder of production company Green Eyed Media, and Manager of the UR Media apprenticeship program for non-profit United Roots, all organizations that are based in Oakland, CA. Mr. Flores' company, Green Eyed Media, produces and distributes original music, photography, documentaries and fictional narratives. It was founded in 2007 and has expanded to the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The focus of much of his personal research and cinema centers on issues concerning hybridity, border theory, and the post-modern identities of Hip-Hop culture and the Chicano community. 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.
In 2004 and 2005 Mr. Flores received the University of Washington’s Certificate of High Scholarship. He also was accepted into the Golden Key and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies in 2006 and 2007. Mr. Flores began his first year of graduate studies in 2008 while pursuing his M.F.A. in directing and post-production at San Francisco State University. In 2009 two of his films, "Jale" and "The Scraper Bike King", were awarded honorable mention at the International San Francisco Latino Film Festival. "The Scraper Bike King" was also accepted into the 2010 Cannes Independent Film Festival and nominated by the WGA for the 2010 Eco-Entertainment Awards.
In 2011, he was honored with San Francisco State University’s Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Achievement and Contribution to the field of Cinema. In 2013 his docu-fiction film "23rd and Union" was selected to screen at the Golden Lion Film Festival in Swaziland, Africa and was also awarded the Best Local Filmmaker Award for the 2011 International Black Film Festival in Seattle, Washington. Since then, the CDC and Morehouse School of Medicine published the research Flores conducted for "23rd & Union". In 2015 he was selected for the national Gamechangers Filmmaking fellowship, and the following year he was awarded best experimental film at the 2016 Chicano International Film Festival. In 2017 his short documentary "A Mi Matria" was part of the Official Selection at the Cannes International Film Festival, and his featured documentary was the headliner at the Langston Hughes International Film Festival.