Jake Mahaffy


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. 

Artist's Chosen Interview:
Shooting for Salvation: The Director of Free in Deed Proves the Meaning of "Errors Done Right" in This Commentary | MovieMaker Magazine

Artist's Work:

Inspirational Resources/Recommendations: 

Chinese landscape painting for depicting philosophy through nature and finding narrative principles in setting ("background"). 

Henri Cartier Bresson (and good photojournalism in general) for highly efficient, inherently narrative compositions. Images in good photojournalism are self-sufficient stories using only basic framing to create meanings for the viewer. Photojournalism demonstrates the art of observation- intelligent perception- in how it organizes narrative relationships within a frame.  

A basic understanding of how/why story works as part of an evolutionary process encouraging development of creative intelligence and social cohesion.