Director, Writer, Cinematographer, and Musician

May 29, 1945 – September 5, 2021

Serafin “Surf” Reyes was a filmmaker, director, cinematographer, painter, writer, musician, and learning facilitator. One of his many award-winning commercials is the IBC-13 three-minute “Pinoy ang Dating” (1994) that won the Best TV Station I.D. award in the Gawad CCP.

He studied high school and took AB Economics for two years at the Ateneo de Manila University. In 1979, Surf joined ABS-CBN as an executive producer, and later joined a commercial production house called SCAN. He then moved to Ace-Compton Advertising, Inc. where he worked as a film and TV producer, soon becoming the head of the commercial production department.

Surf was the director of “The Film Gym,” the film school of the Film Academy of the Philippines. He also joined the Mowelfund Institute (MFI) as institute director in 1981 with his concept of Super-8mm as a training format. It was also where he facilitated filmmaking workshops.

Among his students were Raymond Red (who won at the Cannes Film Festival), Mac Alejandro, Yam Laranas, Lem Garcellano, and many others who are now established filmmakers in advertising and cinema.

Surf was also the founder of Love Being, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering people through personal and social transformation.

He was 76 when he passed away, leaving his wife Cora Reyes and their children.

In 2007, Surf received the Gawad Daluyan Awards of the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative (IFC) “For being a constant source of influence and whose life-long efforts in promoting, inspiring, and educating filmmakers and the audience are crucial to the development of the independent community.” This award was given to 11 progressive leaders and pioneers in the independent film community.

According to Raymond Red, Surf Reyes was “a pioneer mentor to quite a number of the prominent independent and also mainstream directors today. He has always put focus on the most significant aspect of filmmaking, which is… cinema as visual language.”

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