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A documentary about European Jews who fled Europe to escape the Nazis and found refuge in Ecuador.
A documentary about European Jews who fled Europe to escape the Nazis and found refuge in Ecuador.
226 backers pledged $41,630 to help bring this project to life.

"An Unknown Country" Broadcast Premiere on PBS Station Channel 13 - June 12, 10 PM


I'm proud to announce the premiere of  An Unknown Country  on the PBS TV station Thirteen/WNET in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut - Monday, June 12 at 10 PM. For night owls there will be a repeat broadcast Tuesday, June 20 at 4 AM. Check your local listings and if you can’t catch it live, set your DVR for later viewing at your leisure.

Please spread the word! If you’ve seen the film, here’s a great way to see it again and share it with others. If you’ve missed it, here’s your chance to see an important story previously untold on film. If you enjoy it, please let the station know you want to see it again and often.

An Unknown Country tells the story of European Jews who fled Nazi persecution and the rising Holocaust to find refuge in Ecuador. Their poignant experience is a lesson in survival and adaptation—a story now more timely than ever as forced emigration has become a major issue of our time. The film shows how the exiles remade their lives in what was for them an exotic, unfamiliar land, and it highlights their contributions to many aspects of life in their host country.

Screenings in San Antonio, Texas


The San Antonio Public Library will hold screenings of "An Unknown Country" as part of a series about the Holocaust. The Jan. 14 screening will be at the Great Northwest Library branch at 2 PM (9050 Wellwood). The screening on Jan. 29 will be at the Central Library branch at 2 PM (600 Soledad). Following both screenings Eva Balcazar will share her memoirs of escape from Germany with her family to find refuge in Ecuador. If you know people in the San Antonio area, please share this information with them. 

I'm also happy to report that WNET/Channel Thirteen and other PBS stations in the New York area plan to air  "An Unknown Country." No firm dates yet but will keep you informed. 

Again, thanks for your support of this project.


Screening of "An Unknown Country" Sunday, December 11

A screening of "An Unknown Country" will take place in Lawrenceville, New Jersey (near Princeton) on Sunday, December 11 at 7 PM. It's free and open to the public. I will be present for the post-screening Q&A. 

Place: Adath Israel Congregation, 1958 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ. 

Please share this info with anyone you know who you think might wish to attend.



Screening of "An Unknown Country" ...and more...


Dear friends of "An Unknown Country,"

Screening: Please note that "An Unknown Country" will be screened at the Taos Jewish Center in Taos, NM on Friday, October 28 at 7 PM. Address: 1335 Gusdorf Rd. If you know people in the Taos/Santa Fe area who you think might be interested in viewing the film, please let them know about this event.

More News: In every documentary so many stories are gathered that there's no room for them all in the final film. I'd like to share with you some of that extra material and accounts we had to drop from the final version of "An Unknown Country." I've posted these clips in the film's website to provide relevant stories and new information for you to enjoy: Here is the website link: To view these short clips click on THE FILM, then on TRAILER/EXTRAS. Hope you find them interesting and informative.

Best regards,


Film Screening: June 5, 1:30 PM


Dear friends,

My apologies if you've  already received this notice. This time I am not promoting my documentary but someone else's film to be screened at this year's Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York, which takes place from June 2 to 5. Here is the link:

The film, "And There was Fire in the Center of the Earth," directed by Bernhard Hetzenauer, will be shown at the festival on Sunday, June 5, 1:30 PM at Syndicated Theater, Bar & Restaurant, 40 Bogart Street, Brooklyn--easily reached from Manhattan by subway on the L line to the Morgan Avenue stop. 

This film tells the story of Vera Kohn, who is also featured in my film. In 1939 she fled Nazi persecution in Czechoslovakia to find refuge with her family in Ecuador. After a career as a leading actress in Quito, she became a practicing psychologist and teacher of Zen meditation in her adopted country. In this film, the director contrasts and merges Vera’s story with his personal questions of collective guilt and individual responsibility as he attempts to come to terms with his family’s legacy: his Austrian grandfather had been a member of the SS, the Nazi party’s military elite corps. 

Please spread the word about this screening to friends and family in the New York  area. Consider attending the festival. Ecuador's cinema is growing and developing a unique identity. 

The festival will donate half the proceeds from ticket sales to the Ecuadorian Shelter Initiative ( which supports programs that assist victims of Ecuador's recent earthquake with shelters and housing reconstruction.