About the filmmakers

Story4 (www.story4.org) is an independent multimedia production studio that promotes understanding through visual personal storytelling.  The group of producers affiliated with Story4 has been awarded journalism’s most prestigious prizes, including Pulitzers and national Emmy awards.

This story speaks to our passionate beliefs about the transformative nature of the arts.

 Geri Migielicz – Executive Producer and Co-Director

A co-founder of Story4, Geri is the Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor at Stanford University, teaching multimedia in the Graduate Program in Journalism. Geri served as Director of Photography at the San Jose Mercury News from 1993 to 2009. Geri was executive producer on an Emmy Award-winning web documentary, “Uprooted, ”and she directed coverage that won a 1990 Pulitzer Prize in general news reporting and a 2003 Pulitzer finalist in Feature Photography. Under Geri’s direction, the Mercury News garnered all the major national awards for photo editing and photo usage, making the paper a destination for the leading talent in the photojournalism industry because of its innovation in web and print storytelling.

Geri has served on the faculty at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, and has been an editor and leader at the industry’s top photojournalism workshops including the Missouri Photo Workshop, the Stan Kalish Picture Editing Workshop, Society of Newspaper Design, and the National Press Photographers Association.  Geri was a Stanford University Knight Fellow in 2004-05.

Richard Koci Hernandez – Co-Director and Cinematographer (www.richardkocihernandez.com)

Richard is an Emmy award-winning video and multimedia producer and worked as a photographer at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years. He is an Assistant Professor in New Media at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. In 2012 Richard received an Emmy nomination for Art Direction. Richard’s photojournalism has appeared in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and international magazines, including Stern. In 2008, Richard was awarded a national Emmy award for the New Approaches to Documentary category for the Mercury News video entitled, Uprooted. His work for the Mercury News has earned him two Pulitzer Prize nominations. Richard created MercuryNewsPhoto.com, whose interactive story telling was judged among the world’s best two years in a row in the Pictures of the Year International contest. He has taught multimedia workshops for Stanford University, National Press Photographers Association, National Association for Hispanic Journalists and National Association for Black Journalists.

Liza Culick, Esq, MPH, Story4 co-founder – Executive Producer

Liza co-founded Story4 to bring the power of visual storytelling to connect viewers and communities to the transformative work and leadership in the nongovernmental sector. At Story4, Liza’s role is focused on story development, production planning, and business management. She has served as producer and business/production manager for all of Story4 projects. In addition to her work with Story4, Liza is Principal of Culick Consulting & Coaching (www.culickconsulting.com). She is an executive coach and leadership development consultant and holds degrees in law and public health. Liza has a musical background and a lifelong commitment to the arts.

Dan Archer – Illustrator, Comic Journalist (http://www.archcomix.com/)

Dan Archer creates non-fictional, journalistic comics to offer a new perspective on human rights/social justice issues and give voice to stories that wouldn’t otherwise be heard. In 2010 he was awarded the John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists at Stanford University – the first comics journalist ever admitted to the program. He has also worked with several publishers, including Penguin, Atlantic Books, Abrams Comic Arts (on a collaboration with comics legend Harvey Pekar), Random House and Harper Collins. He received his MFA in cartooning from the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont and currently co-teaches the graphic novel project through the Creative Writing Department at Stanford University.

Thu-Nga Dan – Producer (www.linkedin.com/in/thungadan)

Thu-Nga is a confidante and granddaughter of Madame Thai Thi Lien as well as the niece of Dang Thai Son. After spending more than 10 years with her grandmother and uncle in Montreal, it was clear to her that she needed to bring the amazing and inspiring story of her family to life. She is excited that Story4 agreed to embark on this extraordinary journey with her.

Thu-Nga was the Communications Director at the Grammy Award-winning Southwest Chamber Music, overseeing the ensemble’s press and publicity activities. She was the key liaison for Southwest’s Ascending Dragon Music Festival and Cultural Exchange with Vietnam, sponsored by the U.S. State Department. It was the most significant cultural exchange in the history of the two countries. She currently works as freelance arts manager for various non-profit organizations and individual artists both in the U.S. and in Vietnam.

Thu Nga graduated from the Conservatory of Music of Montreal and the University of Montreal (Canada) in piano performance and in Communication respectively. She received a scholarship to study her Master’s degree from the Annenberg School of Communication at University of Southern California.

Matt'sheadshot Matthew Snyder – Recording Engineerhttp://www.allegrorecordings.com/ )

Matthew Snyder (Matthew Snyder Recordings) has been specializing in producing, recording, editing, and mastering classical      music throughout the United States for over 30 years. A Grammy Award-winning recording engineer and Grammy Award  nominated producer, Matthew has been praised by his clients for his distinctive sound. His background as a classically trained musician helps him better understand the recording artists’ needs and help their creativity during the a session. This enables the musician to focus on the performance. Matthew then can bring the best out of each take through his trained ears and recording skills.

Matthew majored in Music Performance at California State University Northridge in the early 80’s. After freelancing in the Los Angeles area as a musician and recording engineer, he went to Mannes College of Music in New York for a Music Performance Certificate. He then returned to Los Angeles to take classes in the Recording Engineering program at UCLA.

His experience includes recording some of the worlds most prominent solo and chamber musicians such as violinists Pinchas Zukerman and Josef Suk, pianists Emanuel Ax, Andre Watts, Lang Lang, and Yuja Wang, cellist Lynn Harrell, the Guarneri String Quartet, the Tokyo String Quartet, the Shanghai Quartet, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony and many others. Matthew has been the chief recording engineer for prestigious music festivals such as the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (NM), Music from Angel Fire (NM), La Jolla Music Society Summerfest (CA), the Long Beach Bach Festival (CA), the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music (AZ), the Mainly Mozart (CA), the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival (AZ), Southwest Chamber Music, and the Chamber Music Northwest (OR).

Matthew has recorded on major labels such as Sony Masterworks, Delos, KOCH International, BMG Classics, Centaur Recordings, Albany Recording, Orfeo, Cambria Master Recordings, and Alfred Publishing.


Naimh Harrahar



 Niamh Harraher – Researcher                           (www.linkedin.com/pub/niamh-harraher)

A lawyer by training, Niamh’s work with Story4 on this project stems from her deep interest in Vietnamese culture and history and her love of music. Niamh provides overall support to the producers and is assisting with a variety of tasks including research on funding opportunities, the historical context of the story, as well as licensing.

Niamh has a combined law degree and Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto where she was an Ontario Graduate Scholar. She has practiced law with a focus on children’s rights in both Canada and the United Kingdom and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and the House of Lords. Niamh has contributed to the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom.

Jeremy Rue – Chief Technologist

See his development work at GitHub.com/jrue.

Jeremy Rue is a Lecturer of digital storytelling at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Before formally joining the ranks of the grad school, he was formerly a multimedia instructor for the Knight Digital Media Center at UC Berkeley where he taught workshops to hundreds of professional journalists on new media storytelling techniques. He has spoken at conferences for the Associated Press Managing Editors, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists, American Association of Sunday Feature Editors and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. He has led several newsroom trainings on the transition to digital journalism, including National Public Radio, American Public Media and the University of California Office of the President. He was a technical editor for several textbooks on Adobe Flash, and Adobe Dreamweaver. Rue worked as a multimedia journalist for the Oakland Tribune; as a multimedia producer and photographer for a Carnegie-Knight funded reporting fellowship; as a photojournalist for The Fresno Bee, The Modesto Bee and the Duluth News-Tribune in Minnesota; and as a reporter for the Selma (Calif.) Enterprise, where he covered city government, courts and crime. Rue is the recipient of the 2007 Dorothea Lange Fellowship for his photo documentary work on migrant farm workers in the California Central Valley. He is an experienced web developer with knowledge in HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Unix/Linux, PHP/MySQL and a variety of other scripting languages. He has a Master of Journalism degree from UC Berkeley.


Sketch by Dan Archer for “The Cannon and the Flower” trailer



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