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Manfred grew up in postwar Germany. 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 Manfred became their sound editor and decided to stay in Canada. Soon after, he began his long association with the National Film Board of Canada, co-editing 'The Journey' with Academy Award winning director Peter Watkins.
In 1991, Manfred became principal editor for Barna-Alper Productions on television series and documentaries. Since 1996, he has earned producer and co-writer credits, and edited feature length documentaries for Canadian filmmakers Sturla Gunnarsson, Nettie Wild and Paul Jay that have won Gemini, Genie and Chalmers awards and an International Emmy among others. His 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, Manfred decided it was time to step into the light and create his own. He has directed and written eight documentaries for television, which have been screened at festivals around the world, and received numerous nominations and awards, including the Donald Brittain Gemini for best social-political documentary in Canada.
In addition to his own filmmaking, Manfred works as story editor for filmmakers like Velcrow Ripper ('ScaredSacred', 'Fierce Light'), Nettie Wild ('Fix') among others. He also teaches at the Film & Video Department of York University, and gives workshops on editing and story editing across the country. Manfred is a former executive member of the CIFC (now the 'Documentary Association of Canada'), juror at Hot Docs, served as editor of the film magazine POV, and is a programmer for the annual 'Rendez-Vous with Madness' film festival in Toronto.