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LAURA BIALIS
Director / Producer

An avid historian and film buff, Laura created the Foundation for Documentary Projects as a way to fuse her love of history with her passion for filmmaking. An award-winning documentary filmmaker, her work as producer and director has ranged from documentaries about human rights, poverty, and wartime memories, to commercial projects for clients such as TV Guide Channel and Universal Television.

Her most recent film, REFUSENIK, a critically acclaimed documentary about the 30-year international human rights campaign to free Soviet Jewry, was released in 2008 in theatres across the United States. It will be distributed internationally later this year.

VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: STORIES FROM KOSOVO, which Laura co-directed and produced with John Ealer, premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival, and is the first feature documentary about post-war Kosovo. The film is currently being used by the European Union as a training tool in the building of the country.

It was 1999's TAK FOR ALT: Survival of a Human Spirit, that first brought Laura's documentary filmmaking to the attention of viewers across the United States.

The story of Holocaust survivor turned Civil Rights activist Judy Meisel, TAK FOR ALT (Thanks for All in Danish) tells Judy's story as a young girl coming of age during the Holocaust. The film accompanies Judy, now in her seventies, back to Eastern Europe to re-trace her wartime journey: from the Kovno Ghetto through the Stutthof Concentration Camp, and ulti mately on to Denmark, where she was liberated and restored to health by an outpouring of Danish compassion. A remarkable testament to the resilience of Judy's spirit, TAK FOR ALT also triumphs Judy's personal journey from Holocaust victim to American Civil Rights activist.

TAK FOR ALT aired on PBS in many ma jor markets with a prime-time premiere on Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2000. The film was honored by the Academy of Moti on Picture Arts and Sciences as one of the outstanding films of 1999 and was included in their prestigious Contemporary Documentary Screening Series. It is now being used by teachers in over thirty states, and along with a curriculum guide for teachers, has been implemented into social studies curricula in many districts.

Laura's other work includes DAYBREAK BERLIN, a narrative short based on the wartime memoirs of Ilse-Margret Vogel, a German artist and anti-Nazi resister living underground in Berlin during WWII, and BREAD, a short documentary about hunger in Los Angeles, which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

Laura graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in History in 1995, where she focused on wartime and post-war Europe. She also holds an M.F.A. in Production from the USC School of Cinema-Television.