This documentary is an engaging chronicle of how an enterprising 23-year-old named Aaron Lansky rallied together an international network of volunteers and set out to rescue the world's Yiddish books.
Sam Ball is an award-winning filmmaker, whose work has been exhibited at modern art museums around the world, including New York?s MoMA, Washington's Hirschorn Museum and the Pompidou Center in Paris; at many film festivals, including Sundance (1996 and 2000); and on PBS.
His most recent independent films include PLEASURES OF URBAN DECAY, about cartoonist Ben Katchor and POUMY (commissioned by Marian Scheuer Sofaer) about a 92-year-old Jewish woman who fought in the French resistance during WW II.
Ball has also received commissions to make films for several not-for-profit organizations including the National Yiddish Book Center (A BRIDGE OF BOOKS, 2001, is currently touring the many Jewish Film Festivals around the world).
In 2001, he was awarded a fellowship from Joshua Venture to launch the New Jewish Filmmaker Project with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the largest, most prestigious event of its kind. The New Jewish Filmmaker Project gives teenagers the resources and training they need to tell their own Jewish stories and exhibit their work around the world.
A dual citizen of France and the United States, Ball holds a Masters Degree in documentary film production from Stanford University (1995) and a BA from McGill University in Montreal, where he studied under Ruth Wisse and earned the Yaffee Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Yiddish Studies.
Projects under his direction have received grant support from the Covenant Foundation, the Film Arts Foundation, the French-American Cultural Foundation, the Arthur Fromer fund, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture Documentary Fund, the Pacific Pioneer Fund, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the San Francisco Jewish Community Endowment Fund and the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.
He is a co-founder of Citizen Film, a San Francisco-based not-for-profit production company which makes and distributes film that foster civic participation and community cultural development.