Aviva Kempner hit another home run last weekend with the world premiere of The Spy Behind Home Plate, the true story of Moe Berg, the Jewish major league baseball player turned spy.
The documentary was the JxJ Washington Jewish Film Festival’s Spotlight film on Saturday night, May 11, at the AFI Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland. The audience responded to the courageous stories depicted in Berg’s biography with a standing ovation.
In attendance at the premiere were the talented and hard-working film professionals, including editor Barbara Ballow, composer John Keltonic and DP Michael Moser, who made the film so powerful and enriching.
After the sold-out screening, Kempner was presented with a replica of the OSS Congressional Gold Medal by OSS Director, consultant and interviewee Charles Pinck. Following this great honor, interviewee Franklin Foer, The Atlantic journalist, participated in a discussion with Kempner.
Among other attendees were Kempner’s beloved relatives, consultant and interviewee Linda McCarthy, who was the former director of the CIA Museum, and a host of other interviewees in the film. Cameraman Jerry Feldman, whose footage of 18 key interviews thirty years ago is incorporated in Spy, traveled from Los Angeles for the premiere. Feldman and Neil Goldstein worked on a documentary on Berg that was never completed and their work plays a vital role in Spy. Audience members were captivated to learn how Berg, a highly intelligent mystery man and professional baseball player, secretly made significant contributions to the OSS during World War II.
Upcoming screenings include the sold-out May 19 screening in Boston at the Museum of Fine Arts as part of The National Center for Jewish Film’s Annual Film Festival and the first city launch on May 24 at the independent Avalon Theatre in Washington, DC. The Spy Behind Home Plate will open at the Quad Cinema on May 31 in NYC before its national roll out. We hope to see you at one of the many theaters across the nation showing this spy documentary in the coming weeks!
We were thrilled to receive this quote by John Thorn, one of our interviewees and a renowned expert on baseball:
The Spy Behind Home Plate is a triumph, a dazzling mosaic of stills and footage and talking heads who knew Moe Berg or wish they had. If there were a trophy for The Most Interesting Man in Baseball, Berg would have retired it for all time.”
– John Thorn, MLB Official Historian
OSS Congressional Gold Medal: A replica of the medal was presented to director
Aviva Kempner at the film’s world premiere