Afonso J Henrique was born in the province of Faro, Algarve, Portugal where he grew up loving and participating in soccer, fishing, and playing on the beach. Despite these everyday activities, Afonso had one interest that separated him from his contemporaries; his passion for drawing. His mother cheerfully recalls him at two years old happily running around with a piece of paper and pencil in hand. It was evident early on that Afonso had an aptitude for art.
When Afonso was five, his mother, Maria moved him and his sister to America to seek greater opportunities. Upon arrival, Afonso’s family spent a few years in Brooklyn, New York, before packing up and settling in Harrison, New Jersey, a small quaint town not far from the major city of Newark. At the age of nine, while growing up in Harrison, Afonso remained true to his passion and started making his own comic books with loose leaf paper, markers, and staples. Fostering this passion, Afonso started collecting comic books and greatly admired the works of Stan Lee and Bob Kane.
At the age of fourteen, during the summer break from high school, Afonso wrote his first feature script for the “X-Men.” Over the course of a hot summer weekend and consumed with creativity Afonso set forth working with the only tools available: markers and old resume paper he found in his grandfather’s desk. Using his vivid imagination, he put marker to resume paper and created a vibrant story that he humorously recalls being rated ‘R.’ As his writing and storytelling evolved, he started on his first major project titled, “Legends of Ezra,” which he has now evolved into a fantasy/adventure feature film series.
At the age of twenty, Afonso joined the US Navy as a Mess/Culinary Specialist. During his time in the service, he explored the world, met incredible people and went to war Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom (OIF-OEF.) It was during his time in the service that Afonso became aware of his true calling – being a storyteller. An avid reader, Afonso began studying filmmakers and artists that resonated with him such as James Cameron, Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro.
Something about these specific Filmmakers stood out to him – like himself they were world builders and engineers of characters. Each possessing the freedom to exercise their incredible imaginations, dedication, and passion for their craft, while maintaining their own individuality.
(Afonso’s Navy career started with the Seabees (NMCB 133) out of Gulfport, MS and then the ‘President’s Hospital’ at the National Naval Medical Center, now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, MD and then lastly at Naval Station San Diego and Naval Air Base Coronado on a few ships.)
After serving his country for twelve years, Afonso decided it was time to go back to school to get his degree. This was for two reasons: First, he was ready to pursue his true calling in life – telling stories through Film, just like the Filmmakers he respects and admires but more importantly, the second reason; his children. He wants to set an example and show them that with hard work and discipline anything is possible and that life is what you make if it.
While attaining his A.A. in Writing and Literature from the Borough of Manhattan Community College and a B.A. in Screenwriting and Film Studies from Brooklyn College, he was selected for a Screenwriter's Fellowship with Time Warner. His determination and strong work ethic have earned him film awards as a writer and filmmaker but that’s just the beginning according to Afonso.
These days, when Afonso isn’t working diligently on his craft, he spends time with the most important people in his life, his three beautiful boys. Afonso acknowledges his children as his greatest blessings; they keep him centered and focused. In just a few years, Afonso’s passion and dedication for the love of his craft have blossomed. Afonso’s writing and style have been noted and compared to the likes of Shane Black and Guillermo del Toro. He is described as a visionary with an eye to tell stories that resonate with the human and universal condition.
Afonso believes “we as people sometimes have to go through certain expedition’s in our lives so to prepare us for what we are truly meant to do in this world. The universe speaks to us and if we don’t listen, we will miss out on the fruits of what it is offering.”