Jeff Arak was born in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1985. He studied Anthropology and Latin American and Latino Studies at Brandeis University where he was awarded the Betty and Harry S. Shapiro Endowed Award in Anthropology. His documentary thesis, Those with Voice, which explored indigenous filmmaking and other media activism in Mexico, was awarded highest honors and is distributed internationally by DER.
During his studies, Jeff traveled to Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico and was sucked out into the sea by a riptide. He was rescued by the volunteer lifeguards that appear in his 2012 film, Life on Death Beach. After college Jeff moved to Washington DC where he worked for two years at One World Youth Project, helping to bring cultural competence and international awareness to students around the world.
Jeff currently works as a freelance filmmaker in New York City. His personal work focuses on telling unexpected stories about overlooked populations using inspiring and dynamic observational techniques.