THE TEAM - Fueled by Passion and Prestige
Producer / Director / Writer
Jack Ballo produced several award-winning humanitarian films and documentaries that bring awareness to social issues. His first documentary, Wrong Turn (2008), was filmed in the Dominican Republic followed by Elio (2010) and then Before You Leave (2012). Ballo wrote the screenplay The Doo Dah Man (2015) Flatiron Pictures, from his own true story experience. The critically acclaimed Tent City documentary Destiny’s Bridge (2016) had an impact on the tiny house movement merging with the homeless crisis. His last film, Brothers (2018) was selected for film festivals in 8 different countries winning awards around the world. His wife, Barbara is the great niece of Joseph Pisinski, one of the soldiers killed in the attack. They now live in the same house that Joseph Pisinski grew up in. Ballo found letters in their attic that Pisinski wrote home to his mother that led him to learning about the Rohna and making this documentary.
Producer / Director
Bill Jersey has been producing documentaries for broadcast television for over fifty years. In the early 60's he established his reputation as one of the pioneers of the cinema-verité movement. Since then he has produced documentaries for all of the major networks and in association with PBS, WNET New York, KCET Los Angeles, WGBH Boston, and others. His most recent film - Co-Produced with Jason Cohn EAMES: The Architect and the Painter, garnered Jersey his second Peabody award. Jersey's body of work includes two Academy Award nominees: A Time for Burning, on race relations in America, and Superchief, on the life and legacy Chief Justice Earl Warren. Other award winning productions include The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow series (George Foster Peabody Award), Children of Violence (Emmy), Renaissance (Emmy nomination), Faces of the Enemy (Emmy nomination), Loyalty and Betrayal (Emmy), Hunting the Hidden Dimension (Pierre Gilles deGennes Award) and The Making of Amadeus.
Producer / Consultant
Michael Walsh is a video producer with over 35 years of experience in video production producing programs that have won Aegis, Telly, Golden Slate and IFCA awards. He is also the author of two books about the sinking of the HMT Rohna and has interviewed and filmed over 30 survivors, rescuers, experts and relatives of serviceman who were aboard the Rohna on the day of the attack. Walsh is a historian with an extensive background in research specializing in WWII analysis of historic materials and records preserved at the National Archives in College Park, MD. Walsh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Science degree from Rhode Island College. His step-father, Don Dupre, was involved with one of the rescue ships credited for saving over 600 lives.
Research / Outreach Program
Tracey Bannon has over a decade of research experience with the HMT Rohna and also has a great deal of knowledge and understanding of how people have been affected by the cover-up scandal. She has a background in data technology and leads the Outreach Program’s casualty database while searching for families of the soldiers killed in the attack. Her Uncle Dwight Bannon was killed in the Rohna attack.
Research / Outreach Program
Sunny Duncanson does research and analyzes classified documents from the National Archives pertaining to all the men who were on the HMT Rohna during the attack. Her research has led her to discovering the unidentified remains of 23 soldiers in North Africa who were killed in the Rohna attack. She continues to update and confirm reports that account for all casualties, survivors and crew from the ship. Her Uncle Dwight Bannon was killed in the Rohna attack.
Research / Production Assistant
It was a no-brainer for television producer and grandson of HMT Rohna survivor S/Sgt, Ace Baldassari, to come “onboard" the Rohna: Classified project. Robert Baldassari Jr. has been privileged enough to be a part of the producing team for documentary style and concert specials for networks including CMT, MTV, FOX, iHeartRadio and others. As a passion-project, he hopes to bring his comprehensive range of filmmaking knowledge to further the virtually mythical story of the HMT Rohna and continue his grandfathers momentous and salient legacy.