Laurel Fox Vlock grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. As a television journalist she produced many interviews for Channel 8 in New Haven including a documentary about the Yom Hashoah observance in 1978. Realizing the power of survivor testimony, Laurel Vlock initiated a meeting with Dr. Dori Laub, a child survivor and psychiatrist. It resulted in a taping session in Dr. Laub’s office that marked the beginning of the Holocaust Survivors Film Project. She participated in 187 taping sessions and produced several edited programs based on the testimonies including the Emmy award winning, “Forever Yesterday.”
Asaf GalayLaurel Fox Vlock Filmmaker-in-Residence 2021
Asaf Galay is an award-winning filmmaker whose documentaries examine the creativity of modern Jewish culture. His recently-completed documentary The Adventures of Saul Bellow will be screened as part of the PBS American Masters series. It was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities and was a winner of the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film.
He is currently directing and producing Cartooning America about one of the world’s most popular and controversial cartoon characters in the 1930s, Betty Boop. This film is also supported by the NEH. His celebration of kitsch pop music Army of Lovers in the Holy Land won top honors at the 2018 Haifa Film Festival. He also directed and produced The Muses of Bashevis Singer about the great Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer. His earlier films include The Hebrew Superhero which looks at comic book culture in Israel while Hasidistock is a “joyous and surprisingly profound” documentary on ultra-Orthodox Jewish pop singers.
Daphne GeismarLaurel Fox Vlock Filmmaker-in-Residence 2021
Daphne Geismar plans, designs, and produces books on art and history for museums and publishers including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Yale University Press. Her designs have won numerous awards from organizations such as the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), The Association of Art Museum Curators, and the New England Book Show. She has been a juror for AAUP and the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
Geismar is the author and designer of Invisible Years. Published in 2020, it is a breathtaking and intimate portrait of her extended Jewish family living in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Through interwoven letters, diaries, and interviews, Geismar presents the story of nine family members—in there own words—alongside a trove of photographs and artifacts.
For her MFA in graphic design at Yale University, Geismar’s thesis project revealed new findings about Direction magazine—an anti-fascism periodical run by artists and writers at the outset of World War II. As an educator, Geismar developed and taught a photography and writing program for teenage mothers at Middlesex Hospital; she teaches book design at the University of Connecticut; and she has lectured and been a visiting critic in graphic design at a number of colleges and universities.
Joanne W. RudofLaurel Fox Vlock Filmmaker-in-Residence 2020
Joanne Weiner Rudof retired as the archivist at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University in September 2017 after thirty-three years.
She has written numerous articles, book chapters, and conference papers on Holocaust testimonies and been editor and producer of documentaries including Voices from the Yugoslav Holocaust, Remembering Częstochowa, Parallel Paths, and the award winning national PBS broadcast, Witness: Voices from the Holocaust for which she was co-editor of the book with the same title.
She has coordinated over twenty Holocaust testimony projects in North and South America, Europe, and Israel and advised others in initiating video testimony projects documenting genocide, oppression, and human rights violations. Rudof raised the funds and coordinated the digital conversion of over 10,000 hours of video testimonies recorded on obsolete formats. She was a 2019 recipient of an award from Lessons & Legacies and the Holocaust Education Foundation in recognition of her “Distinguished Contribution to Holocaust Education.” She edited the first three video testimonies recorded by the Holocaust Survivors Film Project for a public presentation on May 2, 2019 marking forty years since they had been recorded.