Born in Spain and now based in London, in a previous life Nono traveled the world as an investigative journalist specializing in conflict zones. Only a quick while after, he began making commercials on the side in 2020, he won himself a Vimeo Staff Pick for his short film, The Heartbeats of Memory, which was also shortlisted for a Cannes Young Directors Award.
That same year, Rodrigo, a Japanese-Brazilian film director with a rich background in art direction, cinematography and postproduction, received acclaim for his short CIRCA 2020 and a Vimeo Staff Pick for his short film, IARA. Their Vimeo laurels in common, they met up in London and found they were walking similar personal and professional paths as immigrants and non-native English speakers breaking into the U.K. advertising and short-form content industry. Within their natural friendship, they saw an opportunity for collaboration—not only for creative value, but also to tell stories that reach a broader, more culturally-diverse audience.
Leaning on Rodrigo’s knack for bold, dynamic visual storytelling and Nono’s ability to shape stirring narratives, the pair produced their first project together later that year: The creepy, surreal music video “Cuenta Lo,” featuring the West London-based and Irish-born singer and rapper Biig Piig engaging in a smarmy poker game. Keeping up the music video momentum, Nono + Rodrigo collaborated with Kehlani to compose a series of dreamlike vignettes featuring throwback pop diva choreography for the visuals for “Up at Night” feat. Justin Bieber.
It was their epic short, Terre Cene, which garnered the pair a Gold Screen in this year’s YDA category Changing the World Frame by Frame. An experimental short film commissioned by The Karman Project, Terre Cene is a meditation on the concepts of time, space and the urgency of climate change. Shot on 16mm against a backdrop of brutalist architecture, the message of awareness-through-artistry that Nono + Rodrigo achieved won the film the Gold at 1.4 Awards, Grand Prize from the Rhode Island Festival, and Best Film in the Korean competition at Energy Film Festival. Recent highlights are traveling to Milwaukie, Nigeria and Greece for the WhatsApp sponsored short film “Naija Odyssey” featuring NBA star basketball player Giannis Antetokoynmpo. The film focuses on Giannis’ origin story from childhood to current day; streaming on Amazon Prime. Nono+Rodrigo were also tapped to direct a short film highlighting the the importance of time spent off the court with tennis star Coco Gauff in 'The Art of Downtime’ as part of a new campaign for Ray Ban and Meta.