Date:                   June 15, 2020



Lessons from a North Korean Defector, Cuba's Human Trafficking, and Comedy vs. Communism⁠—A Virtual Film Festival

Grace Jo was born in North Korea, a place where she almost starved to death as a child during the Great Famine of the 1990s. Jo's father was tortured and starved to death for the "crime" of leaving the country to search for food for his family in China. Jo lost most of her family during this time, and in 1998, Jo's mother concluded there was no hope for her family in North Korea. On Jo's seventh birthday, she, her mother, and her older sister Jinhye crossed the Tumen River into China. For ten years the family hid in China in fear as undocumented North Koreans, moving between locations frequently to avoid discovery. During this time, Jo was caught and repatriated to North Korea twice, spending time in Chinese and North Korean detention centers and a North Korean orphanage. In 2006, Jo and her family were granted protection by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Beijing and allowed to enter the United States as refugees in 2008. Today, Jo volunteers as Vice President of NKinUSA and is also a full-time college student.
Register Now
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart is currently fulfilling his 9th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Florida’s 25th congressional district. Diaz-Balart is a senior member of the House Committee on Appropriations and is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, in addition to serving on the Defense Subcommittee. He passionately serves his constituents, acting tirelessly in defense of individual rights and liberties, promoting economic prosperity, and supporting a strong national defense. He is well known for his advocacy of human rights and democracy around the world, as well as for his staunch support of our global allies. Diaz-Balart was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 to represent Florida’s 25th Congressional district. Prior to his time in Congress, Diaz-Balart served 14 years in the Florida State Legislature in both chambers, House and Senate. He chaired a number of different committees, including the Combined Appropriations/Ways and Means/Finance and Tax Committee.
Register Now
Comedy vs. Communism: A Retrospective of Polish Cult Comedies from Communist Times celebrates film as a tool of resistance to totalitarian tyranny and political satire as a means of beginning the process of reestablishing political liberty. Join us for the film festival launch on Saturday, June 20 with a film screening of The Cruise, followed by Q&A with Dr. Anna Draniewicz, Research Fellow in the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation's Polish Studies program, during which she will answer the inevitable questions arising from the films and their portrayal of the surreal life in communist Poland.


  • The Cruise, Saturday, June 20 at 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Man – Woman Wanted, Sunday, June 21 at 6:00 p.m. EST
  • A Jungle Book of Regulations, Monday, June 22 at 6:00 p.m. EST
  • What Will You Do When You Catch Me?, Tuesday, June 23 at 6:00 p.m. EST
  • Teddy Bear, Wednesday, June 24 at 6:00 p.m. EST
  • The Emergency ExitThursday, June 25 at 6:00 p.m. EST
  • Sexmission, Friday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m. EST
  • King Size, Saturday, June 27 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Register Now

Thank you to all of our event sponsors and everyone who supports the work and mission of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.