About the Team
USC Shoah Foundation
USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and other witnesses genocide a compelling voice for education and action. The Institute’s current collection of about 55,000 eyewitness testimonies contained within its Visual History Archive preserves history as told by those who lived it, and lived through it. Housed at the University of Southern California, within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, The Institute works with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes via lesson plans, films, and new media.
Vanessa Roth – Producer/Director/Writer The Girl and The Picture
An Academy Award winning filmmaker and Executive Producer, Writer and Director of the IDA Award nominated Original Netflix Documentary Series, Daughters of Destiny. Roth’s work over the years has earned her dozens of honors including Sundance Special Jury Prizes, Cine Golden Eagles, Casey Medals, International Awards for Social Justice, and a Dupont-Columbia Award. All of her films have been internationally released theatrically, on television and through digital platforms including Netflix, Amazon, PBS, HBO, A&E, ESPN, the Sundance Channel and Discovery. Her films have also been shown in the White House, Congress, the National Governor’s Association, the United Nations, and have been featured on Oprah, NPR, at the Obama Presidential Inauguration events, and at international education, human rights and child welfare summits. The goal of Ms. Roth’s work is to ignite conversation, awareness and action around urgent social justice issues through projects that are made in close collaboration with the people in her films so that they are authentic and intimate portraits with personal storytelling at their core. She is currently finishing post production on her new doc short, The Girl and the Picture in partnership with the USC/Shoah Foundation. Vanessa holds a master’s degree in social work and a minor in family law from Columbia University. She is Co-Founder of Cause & Affect Media, LLC.
Stephen D. Smith – Producer
Dr. Stephen D. Smith is the Finci -Viterbi Endowed Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation, and holds the UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education. Smith founded the UK Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, England and cofounded the Aegis Trust for the prevention of genocide and crimes against humanity. Dr. Smith’s passion for telling survivors’ stories have led him to serve as Executive Producer on a variety of film projects, including One Day in Auschwitz, Destination Unknown, and the film Auschwitz by James Moll. Stephen and USC Shoah Foundation have also produced a number of film and new media projects, including New Dimensions in Testimony, the 360º film Lala, and the groundbreaking Virtual Reality experience The Last Goodbye.
In recognition of his work, Smith has become a member of the Order of the British Empire and received the Interfaith Gold Medallion. He also holds two honorary doctorates and lectures widely on issues relating to the history and collective response to the Holocaust, genocide, crimes against humanity, and the power of story.
Devorah Palladino - Producer
Co-Producer and Field Director of Netflix Original Documentary Series Daughters of Destiny, Devorah has also Co-Produced and Field Directed PBS feature The Texas Promise, CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling – Episode “Electronic Woodstock,” Produced feature doc Florence, Arizona, UNESCO’s The Present Is Ours and most recently The Girl and The Picture. She received a B.A. in International Relations from Pomona College and was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Argentina where she studied documentary film as a tool for cross cultural understanding.
Ceci Chan – Executive Producer
Ceci Chan has over 30 years of experience in business development and making direct investments. Her goal in life is to create and to support positive impact globally. She is committed to Tikkun Olam, which translates to Healing the World.
Ms. Chan is inspired by the kindness and benevolence practiced by people of all faiths. She advocates for the American motto E. Pluribis Unum - Out of Many, One - the melding of different ideas, faiths, and cultures should go to make the world better.
She has invested in a wide range of industries including e-commerce, real estate, pharmaceuticals, education, and entertainment. Ms. Chan supports charities focused on improving human behavior, she aims to reduce racism, hatred, and violence.
Ms. Chan graduated from Boston Latin School, founded in 1635, and was a graduate of NYU Stern School of Business.
Andi Gitow – Executive Producer
A two-time Emmy award-winning journalist, filmmaker and strategic communication specialist, Andi Gitow is the current Director of Strategy, Partnerships, and Media Production at USC Shoah Foundation.
Prior to this work, Ms. Gitow was the Deputy Director of the United Nations’ representative office in Washington, acting as a representative to the U.S. administration and Capitol Hill. She has worked at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in a variety of roles, including as Head of Global Campaigns, Films and Special Projects for the Humanitarian arm of the UN, and as Acting Chief of Partnerships in the UN’s News and Media Division. Prior to this, Andi helped oversee the creation of award-winning broadcast and digital content, as Executive Producer in the UN News and Media Division. She also worked at NBC Network News in New York as a Producer and Senior Producer. Andi received an undergraduate degree and a Masters Degree from Columbia University.
Daniel B. Gold - Director of Photography
Daniel B. Gold, DP for Netflix Original Documentary Series Daughters of Destiny, won the Sundance ‘Excellence in Cinematography Award’ and two Emmy nominations for his work on BLUE VINYL which he co-directed and co-produced as well as EVERYTHING’S COOL. His DP work includes dozens of international films including The 2015 Tribeca Premiere, Indian Point, Selfie, A Place At The Table, The American Experience, Frontline, American Teacher, The Greater Good, Born Sweet, Breaking The Violence, Colonial House, Saint Misbehavin and The Girl and The Picture. Gold’s camerawork was frequently seen on Saturday Night Live, Dateline NBC, and the Hallmark Channel.
John Zecca - Lead Sound Recordist
John Zecca, Lead Sound Recordist on Netflix Original Documentary Series Daughters of Destiny, is an award wining sound operator who has overseen and recorded sound for hundreds of films and television shows. His work can be heard in The American Experience, The Central Park Five, Jazz, Client 9, Years Of Living Dangerously, The Natural World, Independent Lens, Baseball, American Masters, The Nova Series, Frank Lloyd Wright, Cronkite Remembers, The Texas Promise and The Girl and the Picture.
Livio Sanchez - Editor
Livio Sanchez, Supervising Editor on Netflix Original Documentary Series Daughters of Destiny, is an award-winning editor with an extensive and diverse body of work including independent films, documentaries, music videos, commercials and virtual reality immersive experiences. He has worked with such notable directors as Kathryn Bigelow, Sebastian Cordero, Scott Hicks, The Hughes Brothers, Janusz Kaminski, Chris Milk, Vanessa Roth, Adam Shankman and Marc Webb. He is currently editing the documentary The Girl and the Picture, about the Nanking Massacre of 1937. Livio has been honored with numerous awards for editing including Clio, Cannes and D&AD Advertising Awards as well AICP, AICE and MVPA.
McKenzie Stubbert – Composer
Emmy-nominated composer McKenzie Stubbert has scored award winning films and some of the pioneering works in the new medium of VR. He has worked with directors like Chris Milk, Kathryn Bigelow, David Gelb, and Academy Award Winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. The NY Times VR documentary “The Displaced” won the 2016 Cannes Lions Grand Prix. In 2017, he scored the CNN Films documentary “ELIÁN” for Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions.
Gong “Mickey” Chen — Nanjing Production Fixer
Cheng Fang – Nanjing Production/USC Shoah Foundation Liasion
Cheng Fang graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts and has worked as the project specialist for USC Shoah Foundation's Nanjing Massacre collection and associated projects since 2015. He is currently based in Nanjing, China.
Ruohan Xu – Assistant Editor/Translator
Ruohan was born and raised in China, and is dedicated to telling untold stories and lives of unexpected. She received an M.A. in News and Documentary from New York University and a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and Social Psychology from the University of Missouri. As a freelance storyteller, she has worked on projects for Guggenheim museum, POV, BBC, CNN, NHK and Asia Society. She directed and produced short documentary Dai's Garden, and worked for filmmaker Nanfu Wang on her films including Hooligan Sparrow and I am Another You.
Sam Rutan, Assistant Editor
Sam is a documentary and virtual reality film editor. He was born and raised in Connecticut, and now works in film production and post production in New York City. He graduated from Elon University in 2016 with a B.A. in Strategic Communications and a minor in History. He has worked with Producer/Director Vanessa Roth and Editor Livio Sanchez on projects including Daughters of Destiny, The Girl and The Picture, Look But With Love, and Le Musk."
Nick Palladino – Camera Assistant
Violet Du Feng - Translator
Violet is an Emmy Award winning documentary film producer. Feng produced MAINE-LAND (2017), which received Special Jury Award of SXSW and is currently having a theatrical release in New York; PLEASE REMEMBER ME (2015), which premiered at 2015 IDFA Film Festival and received three awards at China’s biggest documentary film festival GZDoc in 2016.
Jing Liu – Translator
Jing graduated from New York University in Documentary Filmmaking. She is now an independent filmmaker in China, interested in topics like urban life, identity, culture and history.
Veronica Wangshen – Translator
Veronica is a Chinese documentary filmmaker with a strong interest in art, humanity and sociocultural issues. She graduated with a master's degrees from Columbia University in history and film studies, and from New York University in documentary filmmaking. She is currently residing in New York City.
MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF
Tianfu Bank and Tianfu Group
Renjin Huang began his career in 2010 leading mergers and acquisitions for a hospitality group based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Additionally, Mr. Huang helped co-found Tianfu Finance, a combined commercial bank and financial leasing group, based in Chengdu, China. In collaboration with Tianfu Finance, Mr. Huang has helped arrange generous support for a variety of international charitable organizations, including the USC Shoah Foundation. Tianfu’s support for USC Shoah is a part of Tianfu’s mission to better the world through investments and charitable activities.
Mr. Huang is currently pursuing an Executive MBA at USC Marshall School. Upon receiving his MBA, Mr. Huang will continue to pursue a leadership position in global investments and development, with aims to inspire the lives of people around the world.