‘Watching the early Charlie Chaplin films at the age of seven with other kids in a local cinema, I became entranced by the magic Chaplin created. Laughing at his gags I realised the power of cinema as a story-telling medium. In fact, over time I grew convinced that in the hands of a talented individual a film camera could potentially be as powerful as, let’s say, a nuclear bomb. By the time I was fourteen I could not think of any other profession, in which one would be able to play with nuclear bombs on a daily basis, so I decided to become a filmmaker.’
His feature ‘Butterfly Kisses’ won the Crystal Bear at the International Film Festival in Berlin (2017) and was long-listed for the British Independent Film Award for Directing.
Rafael trained at the National Film and Television School (Beaconsfield, UK), The London Film School (London, UK), The Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing (Warsaw, Poland), The University of Washington (Seattle, USA), and Nicholas Copernicus University (Torun, Poland).
Between 1993 – 1994 he worked as Head of Festival Office for the International Festival of The Art of Cinematography Camerimage.
He has also participated in many Media-sponsored screenplay development workshops including ScriptEast, Les Premiers Plans and Ekran.
Rafael’s short ‘Emily Cries’ won multiple international awards, including the best short at Brest and Gdynia film festivals. His short ‘To Bury The Horse’ was a finalist in the 2011 Bosch Stiftung Competition.
He also worked as script supervisor on Nina Gantz’s BAFTA-winning short animation ‘Edmond’ (over fifty other international awards).
His script for ‘Budapest Diaries” was a finalist in the 2012 Script Pro Competition.
His feature project ‘Up On The Roof’ won Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Cinefondation Residence Award.
Other feature directing credits include ‘A Woman At Night’ (Best International Feature at the 2022 Diorama Film Festival).
He is currently in post-production with ‘Budapest Diaries’ (Polish Film Institute / Domino Films/Filmfabriq).
He works as a directing lecturer at the London Film School in London, The American Film Institute in Los Angeles and the Krzysztof Kieslowski Film School in Katowice. Ha coordinates the film directing curriculum at the National Youth Film Academy in the UK.
His development manual titled ‘The Story Spectrum’ is very popular in the UK.
He has also authored two radio plays (‘Three chances’, ‘A lucky guy’) as well as a script development manual titled ‘The Story Spectrum.’.
Personal website: www.rafaelkapelinski.com
A WOMAN AT NIGHT (feature film)
BUTTERFLY KISSES (feature film)
FUNDACJA KULTURA (short)
EMILKA PŁACZE (short)