Jake Mahaffy's self-produced, micro-budget shorts and features were made single-handedly, featuring untrained actors in rural settings. More recent projects combined with professional actors and crew have also screened internationally. Venues include Sundance (2004/05/06/08/09/15), Venice (2012, 2016 & Orizzonti Prize for Best Film, 2015), and SXSW (2016, Grand Jury Prize, 2008). He studied fine art and film at RISD and SAIC, foreign languages at Brown and directing at VGIK in Moscow. He founded two new filmmaking programs at two universities as an Associate Professor of Film and Art in the United States and currently teaches Screen Production at Auckland University in New Zealand.