Of Jewish heritage, Balass is most known for Nana, George and Me, which is an autobiographical video by a young, gay Iraqi Jewish filmmaker who takes a charmingly unconventional look at three Iraqi Jewish lives; that of the filmmaker, his 92-year-old Nana and his 73-year-old friend, George. It was aired at the Castro Theatre. Balass escaped from Iraq with his family at age four, and eventually settled in Canada. He has previously worked as a freelance editor, photographer and producer. He has directed a number of short films and videos including; Funhouse, Caroline, Tattoo Needle Pricks, and On A Very Violet Night in the Apartements Daphne, which won a Golden Apple Award at the NEFVF in Oakland.
His 2008 film Baghdad Twist is a National Film Board of Canada documentary about the disappearance of Iraq's Jewish community though his own family's history. The filmmaker's mother recounts their family's experiences, and the film is illustrated with Balass family home movies and photos.
- 2007 - Baghdad Twist
- 2006 - Derniers mots/Parting Words
- 2002 - The Devil in the Holy Water
- 1998 - Nana, George and Me
- Joe Balass at the Internet Movie Database
- Official Site of "Nana, George and Me"
- Watch Baghdad Twist at the National Film Board of Canada