Joe Balass

Filmmaker Joe Balass was born in Baghdad, Iraq. He resides in Montreal where he operates an independent production company, Compass Productions Inc. He is an independent producer and director working in both fiction and documentary. Balass also works as a freelance editor, photographer and cameraman. He has produced and directed a number of award-winning films and videos including: Nana, George & me (1997), The Devil in the Holy Water (2002) Parting Words (2006) and Baghdad Twist (2007). He expresses a very spontaneous blend of seriousness and humour in his approach to filmmaking. Joe Balass also organises the Journées du cinéma québécois en Italie, a festival dedicated to screening Canadian work in Italy, now in its eighth edition. At present, he is completing the documentary, JOY! (Portrait of a Nun) and he is in development on a french-language documentary about the writer Naïm Kattan, La longueur de l’alphabet.

His work has screened at many different events around the world including the Toronto Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, DocuWeek, IDFA, MIX Brasil and the Torino Film Festival. He was the winner of Télé-Québec Award for Best Documentary at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois, he won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at MIX Milano and the Vue d’enface Festival in Grenoble, and he was a finalist for the Alpha Cine Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, as well as, a nominee for the M. Joan Chalmers Documentarian Award.

Artist Code: 480


Nana, George & Me

1997, 48:00 minutes, colour, English

On a Very Violet Night in the Appartements Daphne

1990, 13:00 minutes, B&W, English

Tattoo Needle Pricks

1990, 07:00 minutes, colour, English

Critical Writing

Nana, George et Moi: Discours multiples
by Élie Castiel. Séquences, Jan. 1998.
Escape from Baghdad
by Bill Brownstein. The Gazette, Nov. 8, 1997.
Documentary explores relationship between a grandmother and a gay man
by Unknown. The Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 6, 1997.
The MLX Festival
by Mark J. Huism. The Village Voice, Nov. 11, 1997, v. 42, no. 45.
Nana, George et Moi au Festival Image & Nation: Une recherche...
by Denis-Daniel Boullé. Fugues, Oct. 1997.
Nana, George et Moi: Portrait attachment
by Pierre Ranger. Vox, Oct. 24, 1997.