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No events for The Spy Behind Home Plate

VIRTUAL STREAMING WINDOW: June 21, 12:00 pm through June 23, 12:00 pm (48 hours)

About The Film

In the Golden Age of baseball, Morris “Moe” Berg was an elite catcher in the major leagues. But his impressive accomplishments were not limited to the baseball field; Berg’s Ivy League degrees, love of travel, and fluency in over ten languages helped the major league baseball player live a double-life, double-header if you will, of athletics and espionage. Award-winning filmmaker Aviva Kempner portrays the dual heroism of the enigmatic catcher turned American spy, and the captivating, hardball world of sports and spy craft he balanced in this largely unknown story. Intro by Rick Rizzs, voice of the Seattle Mariners.

Special Event (via Zoom)

VIRTUAL KLEZMER SING-ALONG - BEFORE THE FILM: Sun, June 21 at 11am: Learn ditties, like "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in Yiddish! Join Thaddeus Spae of the KlezKatz! and Festival Director Pamela Lavitt, a Yiddish speaker. Download the songsheet here or follow along on the Zoom PowerPoint.

Klez Kats 2019 web headshot 

The Klez Katz! are dedicated to the preservation and encouragement of the rich musical heritage of the Yiddish diaspora. Their repertoire encompasses freilachbulgarsherterkishekhosidl, theater music, folk songs and even the odd klezmer-influenced jazz tune. The Klez Katz have been featured at numerous events, including City Hall Concerts, The Wallingford Wurst Festival, Northwest Folklife, and The Tilth Harvest Fair



Director Bio

Aviva Kempner is an award winning American filmmaker known previously for ROSENWALD (SJFF 2016), TODAY I VOTE FOR MY JOEY (2002), YOO-HOO, MRS. GOLDBERG (2009), and THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANK GREENBERG (SJFF 2000). Kempner is the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Her many accomplishments include: membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; a 1996 Guggenheim Fellowship; 2000 DC Mayor’s Art Award; 2001 Women of Vision award from D.C.’s Women in Film and Video chapter; 2001 Media Arts award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture; 2009 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s Freedom of Expression Award; and in 2016 the Seattle Jewish Film Festival’s REEL Difference Award.

spy behind homplate poster

Film Details:

Director: Aviva Kempner
Country: USA
Language: English
Running Time: 101m
Year: 2019
Genre: Documentary
Official Website


  • Baseball
  • War
  • Spy craft
  • WWII intelligence
  • Biography
  • Immigrant Experience

Rating/Warning: PG