HOME IS A HOTEL
Kevin Wong - Director, Producer, Co-Cinematographer
Kevin D. Wong is a Bay Area-based director, editor, and producer. After a stint in visual effects powerhouse ILM, he ventured out into the world of independent filmmaking. In 2005 while at San Francisco State University, he produced, shot and edited “A Moral Debt" a SFSU-funded documentary about the unjust treatment of Filipino veterans of WWII. His Non-Fiction films have played at festivals across the country including Bigy Sky, SFFilm and Cinequest, and been featured on PBS and in The Washington Post.
His narrative films include "Forgetting," an adaptation of an episode of WNYC’s Radiolab, and "Jus Soli" a SciFi Thriller about immigration and data privacy starring Lynn Chen. He is 2022 a SFFilm Filmhouse resident for "Home is a Hotel", was a BAVC Media Maker fellow in 2016, and his feature screenplay "Nellie" was a 2nd round selection in the 2013 Sundance Screenwriters Lab.
Kar Yin Tham - Co-Director, Producer
Kar Yin is an independent media producer based in San Francisco and Kuala Lumpur. Her recent projects have won awards at film festivals around the country including Best Short (Adrift in Sunset) and Best Narrative Feature (Collisions). She has also produced educational media and standards based curricula aligned content for PBS LearningMedia. Kar Yin has more than 20 years of experience in youth development programs and organizational management. She’s currently calibrating her dreams for a better world into a series of challenging projects.
Todd Sills - Co-Director, Producer
Todd is a documentary filmmaker and television producer currently based in the Bay Area. Todd produced and co-directed the feature documentary “Red Without Blue,” which received the Audience Award from the Slamdance Film Festival and the Jury Award from the Frameline Film Festival, among others. Before being acquired by the Sundance Channel, “Red Without Blue” screened at film festivals, universities, and museums all around the world, and garnered glowing reviews in the SF Chronicle, the LA Times, the Advocate, the Seattle Times and the Guardian. In addition to his own documentary work, Todd has also collaborated with Tiffany Shlain (Moxie Institute) as an outreach consultant on her documentary film “Connected” and as a writer on her short films. Todd is currently working with the ACLU, producing shorts for their video campaign.
Kristina Motwani - Editor
Kristina Motwani is an editor, writer, producer and story consultant living and working in San Francisco. She is the 2021 Sundance Jonathan Oppenheim Edit Award recipient, 2021 IFF Boston Karen Schmeer Excellence in Documentary Editing award winner, a 2019 DOCNYC 40 under 40 honoree, a 2018 SFFilm FilmHouse Resident and was a 2017 BAVC National MediaMaker Fellow. Her work has screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca, SXSW, SFFilm festival and more, and has been seen on PBS, Netflix and the World Channel. She has been nominated for a regional Emmy award and received awards from the SF Press Club, the Tellys and the Society for Professional Journalism. She is a judge for the news and doc Emmy Awards and is currently teaching editing at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She is also a member of the Brown Girls Doc Mafia, a group of women of color who work in Documentary film.
Seng Chen - Cinematographer
Cinematographer Seng Chen is a Singapore-born, Minnesota-raised, Chinese American filmmaker based in Oakland, California. With a background in still photography, he is the former photo director at Hyphen magazine, and has continued to develop his eye for composition and heart for story working on independent films such as Ursula Liang’s documentary 9-Man (PBS America Reframed) and Jennifer Phang’s film Advantageous (Sundance, Netflix).
Susannah Smith - Associate Editor
Susannah Smith is a documentary filmmaker, editor, artist, and curator with a focus on place-based storytelling. Recent work includes directing and producing the Untitled Thao Nguyen Doc (in production); We Belong (in post production), a feature doc about the Lexington Club, SF’s iconic queer bar; Assistant Editor on Homeroom, Nassima, and the Untitled 19th* Film, as well as Creative Directing installations and film discussions with SF Urban Film Fest at YBCA and Sundance Film Festival 2021. Her films have been featured at festivals and online, including at SFFILM, Q-films Long Beach, Bernal Heights Outdoor Film Festival, SF Streetsblog, and at universities, including King’s College London and UC Berkeley. She was a 2018 BAVC National MediaMaker Fellow and is on the IDA Best Editing Committee, the 2021 BAVC MediaMaker Fellow Selection Committee. She is an active member of the Association of Documentary Filmmakers.
Catherine Joy - Composer
With a passion for music and collaboration, Catherine Joy is a composer for film, media and live performance. Early in her career she won Best Documentary Score for the feature documentary Gold Balls. Catherine then scored the documentary Naughty Books (Hulu) which features narration by Aisha Tyler, Allison Tolman and Aimee Garcia, and resulted in an ASCAP Composers Choice Award nomination. More recently she scored the critically-acclaimed feature Potato Dreams of America and documentary Prognosis: Notes on Living about the final journey of Oscar-winning social justice filmmaker Debra Chasnoff. She then was presented with the New Music USA Reel Change grant for her score for award-winning documentary Women In The Front Seat, directed by Indy Saini. Along with composing, Catherine is the founder and CEO of Joy Music House, a full service score production company and the President for the Alliance for Women Film Composers. She also teaches film scoring for the NYU Steinhardt Masters program.
Sasha Hauswald - Consulting Producer
Director of State and Local Policy at Grounded Solutions Network, Sasha leads Grounded Solution’s policy consulting practice and place-based initiatives. She directs research, resource development, technical assistance, and fee for service consulting projects for government and philanthropic clients. Prior to joining Grounded Solutions, Sasha was the Senior Program Officer for Inclusionary Housing Policy at Cornerstone Partnership, and Public Policy Manager for the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development, where she led special projects on a wide array of housing policy issues. Sasha holds a Master’s of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley and a BA in psychology from Wesleyan University. A fifth generation San Franciscan, Sasha comes to the documentary with a passion for and expertise in housing policy. Sasha was a producer on the short film and the inspiration for the project in general and continues to guide us in our work navigating the complicated landscape of San Francisco housing policy.
Maria Mealla - Associate Producer
Maria was conjured in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia and spent her formative years traveling back and forth between Bolivia and the United States. Mealla attended St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX where she received a BA in Theater Arts before moving to the Bay Area where she ventured into independent filmmaking through work trade by collaborating with other filmmakers. She founded the San Francisco chapter of the Film Fatales Shorts, which later became Cinefemme, and led the group of female-identifying filmmakers for 5 years. Mealla’s short and episodic content has been showcased at festivals across the country and platforms including WhoHaHa, and The Muff Society. She has spent the last five years working as a commercial producer and director at agencies across the Bay Area. Her award-winning feature debut Bring me an Avocado is now streaming on Amazon Prime. Prior to becoming a filmmaker she worked in the non-profit sector serving Seniors living in SROs and Children in the Foster Care system, and brings this knowledge and experience to her work on HOME IS A HOTEL.
Martín Rossetti - Associate Producer / Additional Camera
Martín’s career in the film industry launched as an undergrad when he was awarded a grant by San Francisco State University to direct and produce his first (and award-winning) documentary, “A Moral Debt,” with Kevin Wong. He has worked on short films, commercials, and a noteworthy selection of feature documentaries, including “Two Escobars” (featured on ESPN and an official selection at Cannes, Tribeca and the Los Angeles Film Festival) and “Inequality for All,” winner at Sundance. Martín is fluent in Spanish, and will lend his producing and language skills to coordinating, translating, and building trust with our Latinx participants.