Private Project

Potentially Dangerous

A feature-length documentary from executive producer John Turturro on the untold story of Italian immigrants persecuted and interned as America's "Enemy Aliens" During World War II. Potentially Dangerous won the 2021 Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum and took home the Golden Dragon for best documentary at the Ferrara Film Festival.

  • Zach Baliva
    My Name Is Jerry
  • Noah Readhead
    Always Coming Back
  • Zach Baliva
    My Name is Jerry
  • Naomi Baliva
    My Name is Jerry
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    History, War, World War II, Social Justice, Italy, Italian American, immigration, immigrants' rights
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes 3 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Zach Baliva

Director and producer Zach Baliva started his career working for the writers and producers of the hit TV show ER. He left to produce My Name is Jerry, the feature film that gave Steven Yeun (Minari) his first on-screen role. Baliva traces his roots to Italy’s Abruzzo region and has lived and worked in Rome and Venice.

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Director Statement

When I obtained my dual citizenship in Italy, I realized that I had little connection to my ancestors' homeland, and I wondered why. Then I discovered the reason - Italians in America were persecuted during World War II, not for anything they had actually done but only for who they were and where they were from. The trauma led many of them to hide their language, culture, and customs. Potentially Dangerous reveals the untold story of what happened to Italians in America during WWII and examines the lasting effects of these events. This story has modern-day implications and can help us learn to treat others with empathy and understanding.