When Rina was growing up in Japan, her best friend was in London and to keep them connected, she used to film and edit ‘video letters’ with her siblings. That connection with London grew even stronger when she moved there to study English and then, after seeing an advert on a bus for a film school, it eventually fostered her interest in cinematography.
Rina learned how to shoot by helping her friends make music videos and short films while being a camera assistant on the side for bigger projects. After countless long days and nights shooting and travelling around the world as a DOP, she eventually went on to be nominated for best cinematographer at the 2019 BAFTA Cymru Awards, the first female DOP to ever be nominated for fiction in that category. This year, Rina has worked on the BBC1 Windrush drama, Sitting in Limbo (alongside previous BAFTA Breakthrough, director Stella Corradi) and was the DOP on several episodes of Netflix’s Top Boy S3, which feels like a real breakthrough into narrative work.
Rina says “It’s surreal to be a BAFTA breakthrough after many years of trying to be accepted where I feel I belong. Patting myself on the back feels weird, but having had young filmmakers reach out to me saying how nice it is to see someone like me being recognised, hopefully it means that I’m encouraging them to pursue their dreams, and in the future our industry will have more diverse HODs.”