A Pocketful of Miracles: A Tale of Two Siblings – Behind the Scenes

Meet the Filmmakers

Aviva Kempner – Director and Producer

Aviva Kempner is a Washington, D.C.-based filmmaker, creates successful and critically acclaimed documentaries about under-known Jewish heroes and social justice. In 2019, she premiered her fifth commercially-released film, The Spy Behind Home Plate. Her other films include Rosenwald, a documentary about how Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald partnered with Booker T. Washington in establishing over 5,000 schools for African Americans in the Jim Crow South; Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, about Gertrude Berg, who created the first television sitcom; and the Emmy-nominated and Peabody-awarded The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, about the Hall of Famer who faced anti-Semitism during the ’30s. Both Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg and Hank Greenberg grossed over a million dollars at the box office and are highly ranked, along with Rosenwald, on Rotten Tomatoes. She also produced the award-winning documentary Partisans of Vilna, about Jews fighting the Nazis. Her most recent film, Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting, will be available on Apple iTunes and Amazon Prime on February 6, 2024. She is presently completing a documentary on screenwriter and political activist Ben Hecht in 2024. Kempner is also making Pissed Off, a documentary short exploring the struggles faced by female lawmakers in Congress who advocated for potty parity in the United States Capitol.

Both Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, and Hank Greenberg grossed over a million dollars at the box office and are highly ranked, along with Rosenwald, on Rotten Tomatoes.  She also produced the award-winning documentary Partisans of Vilna, about Jews fighting the Nazis. 

Kempner also co-wrote and is co-producing the dramatic script Casuse with fellow Imagining the Indian director and producer Ben West. The film is about the Navajo activist Larry Casuse, who Kempner knew while a VISTA volunteer in New Mexico in the early ’70s. While attending the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C., Kempner interned at the Office of the Solicitor at the Department of Interior’s Indian Affairs. Upon graduation, she worked at the National Tribal Chairman’s Association and the National Conference of American Indians.

Kempner is an activist and advocate for statehood for Washington, D.C.as a board member of DC Vote. She is currently working on a full length documentary on the Jewish writer and activist, Ben Hecht. 

Emily Streim – Associate Producer

Emily Nesha Streim was previously an Associate Producer at Winikur Productions in Boston, MA for museum exhibit videos relating to the Holocaust. She most recently worked as Associate Production Coordinator on feature film The Kill Room and is currently in development for a Connecticut-based community documentary, Young Witnesses. In addition to her production work, Emily focuses much of her creative time on screenwriting. She has an M.F.A. in Film and Media Arts with a focus on social and political content, in addition to a B.A. in Anthropology and Government and instills her knowledge and research skills from that time in her storytelling.

Emily is a proud member of the Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities.

Lucia Fox-Shapiro – Editor

Lucia Fox-Shapiro is a documentary film editor in Washington DC. She worked as an assistant editor on the Ciesla Foundation’s film Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting after graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she majored in Cinema and Media Studies with a minor in Media and Social Change.  She has worked as an intern and post-production assistant at Delirio Films, Meridian Hill Pictures, Adler & Associates Entertainment, Women in Film and Video DC, and Voice of America.

John Keltonic – Composer

John Keltonic is a multi-Emmy award winning (and Oscar nominated) music composer, whose works have been performed by the London Symphony, the National Symphony, and dozens of other orchestras.

He specializes in composing original music for documentaries that focus on important historical and current social and political issues, and as such has scored over 200 documentaries to date, that have aired on NBC, CBS, PBS, BBC, Discovery Channel, CNN, BBC, NBC Olympics, History Channel, and many other outlets.

According to Keltonic “It was an incredible privilege and honor to have composed and produced the music for Pocketful of Miracles. This unique film goes right to the heart of the angst and horror of a precious young brother and sister enduring the horrors of the Holacaust, their miraculous survival of this evil, and the subsequent story of their success and joy. Regardless of your political persuasion or understanding of history, do not miss this film!”