Manfred Becker

Manfred Becker headshot
Manfred Becker
Assistant Professor
Department of Cinema & Media Arts

Manfred Becker grew up in postwar Germany, under the dark cloud of its history. After studying journalism and film at the University of Dortmund, he arrived in Toronto in 1983 for a one-year practicum at a commercial production house. Within a year, Becker became their sound editor and – after a turbulent few weeks with Canada Immigration – was allowed to stay in Canada. Soon after, he began his long association with the National Film Board, co-editing ‘The Journey’ with Academy Award winning director Peter Watkins (Berlinade, TIFF 1987).

In 1991, Becker became principal editor for Barna-Alper Productions for their nonfiction work. He has earned producer and writer credits, and edited feature length documentaries for Canadian filmmakers Sturla Gunnarsson (Gerry & Louise, TIFF, International Emmy, Genie Award 1996 among others), Nettie Wild (A place called Chiapas, Berlinade, TIFF 1997, Genie Award, theatrical release in North America and Europe), and Paul Jay (Hitman Hart, multiple Gemini Award Winner). Becker’s work has been screened internationally in the cinema and on television.

In 2001, after years of helping others to sort out their creative mess in the cutting room, Becker decided it was time to step into the light and create his own. Since he has directed and written a dozen documentaries for television, which have been screened at festivals around the world, and received numerous nominations and awards, like fatherland (Munich Filmfest 2007, among others) which received the Donald Brittain Gemini for best social-political Documentary in Canada. In 2012, Becker was one of eight chosen directors for a series of popular sports documentaries for Bell Media. In the last few years he has predominantly directed and written for the CBC. Becker also serves as an advisor, web documentary director and writer for the NFB interactive website At Home/Chez Soi (FWA Award, IDFA 2012).

In addition to directing his own, Becker continued to edit and write for filmmakers Thomas Wallner (Guantanamo Trap, 2011, and Before the Last Curtain Falls, 2014) and works as story editor for Velcrow Ripper (ScaredSacred, Fierce Light), Nettie Wild (Fix), and many others. He is a former executive member of the ‘Documentary Association of Canada’, juror at the Hot Docs Festival, editor of the film magazine POV, and programmer for the annual Rendez-Vous with Madness film festival in Toronto. Becker taught at York and Ryerson Universities as well as the Seneca and Humber Colleges, and gave workshops on editing and story editing across the country before joining full time faculty of York University’s Department of Cinema & Media Arts  in the summer of 2018.