May May Tchao

I transfer my skills from TV commercial production to documentary filmmaking
after more than 35 years in the Chicago’s advertising business. As director and producer of this project,  I see this as an opportunity to give voice to the voiceless, using the power of storytelling to reveal truth and making a difference.

A firm believer in “learning by doing,” I honed in my craft by collaborating with top talents to explore compelling stories to raise awareness and promote change. My directorial debut SPILLED WATER has won awards, shown in national and international film festivals and was broadcast on PBS channels WTTW and KQED.

Laurie MacMillan

Laurie is an award-winning documentary editor and story consultant. Her credits include CROSSING ARIZONA, which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and FOLLOW MY VOICE, an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. She edited TWO AMERICANS which toured the US as part of the ACLU's national campaign for immigration reform. Laurie's work has been broadcast on PBS, Sundance Channel, NHK and Al Jazeera.

Stephanie V. Strauss

Stephanie is a Chicago-based filmmaker and DP who has a wonderful sense of lighting and narrative eye. She uses her camera to discover the nuances of people’s lives and tell their stories.  She is a graduate of The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, and has interned with the Kindling Group, a socially-minded documentary production house, for the SCHOOL PROJECT among other projects.  As a winner of the Bakala Foundation Fellowship, Stephanie documented people with dyslexia in The Czech Republic. 

Sam Rong

Sam is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He currently works in multi-media storytelling for non-profit and higher education. Sam was a former journalist with 8 years of experience in television news and documentary in South Africa and the United States. He has collaborated with various filmmakers nationally and internationally including May Tchao for her first film, SPILLED WATER (2014). Sam is passionate about global and local stories, as long as they explore the unique dimensions of the human spirit and speak to the heart.

Sharon Zurek

Sharon, our post-production supervisor, is the owner of Black Cat Productions and enjoys working on social issue documentaries. She co-produced and edited THE G-FORCE, HANNAH FREE and many other independent features and short films. Her documentary, A MIND IN QUICK SAND: LIFE WITH HUNTINGTON’S aired nationally on public broadcasting stations from 2015-2019. Sharon is a Professor of Instruction at Columbia College Chicago.

Using Format