Jeff grew up in apartheid South Africa where the pervasive injustice instilled in him a strong desire to make a difference in the world. Once he left South Africa at the age of 20, his focus gradually shifted from political to environmental issues. By 25, he had completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree in London and found a passion for sea turtles, which led to a job in Greenpeace as the International Sea Turtle Campaigner. After many successes negotiating at international Conventions, Jeff moved to Australia and has been a successful filmmaker for the last 21 years.
His first company was the award-winning Hatchling Productions which he co-founded with Cathy Henkel. Hatchling Productions’ films included ‘Walking Through a Minefield’ (1999), documenting the blockade of the Jabiluka uranium mine in Kakadu National Park; ‘Losing Layla’ (2001), which captured the tragic death of a newborn baby and the parents’ journey of grief; ‘The Man Who Stole My Mother’s Face’ (2004), explored sexual assault and its aftermath, won the Discovery Channel Best Documentary Award at the Lexus IF Awards, and Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York; ‘I Told You I was Ill:The Life and Legacy of Spike Milligan’ (2005), looked at Spike’s life and the effect of his mental illness on himself and his family; ‘The Burning Season’ (2008) highlighted the contribution to climate change of the fires and deforestation in Indonesia, their impact on orangutans, and one potential mechanism for a solution, carbon trading. In 2008, in Australia, it won the Audience Choice for Best Documentary at the Brisbane International Film Festival and the IF Award for Best Documentary. It screened in competition at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, and the Sydney Film Festival. It also screened on the ABC (Australia), BBC, CBC (Canada), PBS (USA) and is distributed internationally by National Geographic. In 2009, it was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Documentary on a Business Topic.
In 2009, Jeff established a new film and media production company called Green Turtle Films. 2 Degrees is their first feature length production.