Compass Productions founder Joe Balass resides in Montreal where he works in both fiction and documentary. He has produced and directed a number of award-winning films including: Nana, George & me (1997), The Devil in the Holy Water (2002), Parting Words (2006), Baghdad Twist (2007), JOY! Portrait of a Nun (2012), The Length of the Alphabet (2013). In 2014, both the Cinémathèque québécoise and the Toronto Jewish Film Festival honoured him with a retrospective of his work. In 2016, he was selected for the prestigious Talents Program at the Berlinale. His work has screened at numerous events around the globe including: the Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, DocuWeek, IDFA, MIX Brasil and the Torino Film Festival.
Balass recently completed production on the feature-length, gender-bending drama Venus, by writer/director Eisha Marjara. Together, they are also collaborating on Calorie, a new feature film set in Canada and India, which was the only North American project chosen for the Goa Film Bazaar and which is currently in production. In addition, the team is developing a new family comedy series titled Blended. Balass also has two other features in development including: Farida, a passionate love story based on the novel by the award-winning Iraqi Jewish writer Naïm Kattan, as well as, Bruce LaBruce’s new feature, Mother Mary.
Joe Balass also organises the Journées du cinéma québécois en Italie, a festival dedicated to screening francophone Canadian work in Italy, now in its twentieth edition.