JACK BALLO - Producer / Director / Writer

Jack Ballo talking at Screening of his movieJack Ballo was in the video production business for over twenty years before he started making documentary films. He worked on hundreds of projects behind the camera, editing, producing and writing. In 2008 he was offered an opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic and film poor families who were living in extreme poverty. That video, “A Crisis Observed,” changed the direction of his production company and he started producing documentary films.

All his documentaries have social value to them while bringing awareness to interesting people and untold stories that the traditional media doesn’t cover. He started by producing humanitarian films in third world countries. His first documentary, WRONG TURN, (2008) highlighted a Canadian man who built houses for families living in shacks in the Dominican Republic. In 2010, Ballo went back to the Dominican Republic and made an award-winning short documentary called ELIO (2010). He continued making films about social issues including his next documentary about singer songwriter, Mary Gauthier, who searches for the truth about her adoption. BEFORE YOU LEAVE (2012) won Best Documentary at the film’s premiere at the Garden State Film Festival.

Ballo went on to co-write his first screenplay, THE DOO DAH MAN (2015), based on the true story of his own experience hitchhiking to California and being picked up in a stolen car by a con artist who broke out of prison. The award-winning feature film is a Flatiron Pictures production distributed by Invincible Pictures. His next documentary, DESTINY’S BRIDGE (2016), was a critically acclaimed feature filmed in Lakewood, NJ. The controversial movie is about a homeless minister who leads a community living in the woods while facing eviction. The award-winning film received national attention by bringing the idea of “tiny houses for the poor and homeless” into the tiny house movement. In 2017 Ballo broke barriers by making one of the first documentaries shot completely with a hand held iPhone without using any apps or accessories. BROTHERS (2018), is a story about two brothers living off the grid and their struggle to survive while dealing with alcoholism. The movie played in film festivals all over the world and won 8 awards. Soon after making BROTHERS, Ballo went on to teach a filmmaking course at Count Basie Center for the Arts.

He is currently working on a new film project called ROHNA CLASSIFIED expected to be released toward the end of 2024. The film tells the story about the first guided missile ever launched against the United States causing the greatest loss of life at sea in the history of any US war. The 1943 WWII attack of the Rohna was erased from history along with the men who died when the burning ship sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. There were 1,015 US soldiers killed in the attack. Hitler’s secret weapon attack was so damaging to the Allied war effort that the US War Department declared the Rohna attack as “Classified.” Survivors were ordered to remain silent in a scandal that mislead over a thousand Gold Star families who were searching for the truth.


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