Meet the crew behind ‘Hingakawa’ documentary

It looked like a cup of coffee, but it was far more than that, the Starbucks barista said as she served it at the Shanghai Roastery. “You know what’s special about this cup of coffee? It was grown by a woman, harvested by a woman, brewed by a woman, and is now about to be drank by a woman,” she told Starbucks filmmaker Luanne Dietz.

The coffee was from Hingakawa, a woman-run cooperative in Rwanda. The coffee was more than a beverage – it was the livelihood for more than 500 women who have joined together to grow, harvest, dry and sell their coffee. And for many, it was also what drew together women from opposite sides of the 1994 genocide – women whose husbands were killed, and women whose husbands had participated in the genocide. In those years after, when so many men were killed or imprisoned, it was up to the women to provide for their families. To survive, they needed each other. The women of Hingakawa feel like, “these are my sisters,” said Dr. Geraldine Mukeshimana, minister of agriculture and animal resources in Rwanda.

The story of that one cup of coffee, served a world away, sparked what would become the short documentary “Hingakawa.” In that spirit, “Hingakawa” was directed, filmed and edited by an all-female crew.

Director & Producer


Luanne Dietz is a three-time Emmy Award winner and Cannes Lion recipient. She has been a force in the creative industry bringing her expertise to newspapers, international documentaries, inner-city media education, nonprofits and film production. She currently is a visual story master at Starbucks. Dietz focuses on stories surrounding social issues.

Liliane Kamikazi

Associate Producer


Liliane Kamikazi is a native of Rwanda. When she was 10, her family was killed before her eyes in the genocide. Despite staggering losses, she was determined to get a good education and do all she could to help others. She came to the U.S. in 2007, not knowing any English, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University. Today, she is a web producer and social strategist for Starbucks Stories and is working toward a master’s degree at Seattle University. She is the founder of A Bridge for Girls, which supports impoverished girls and young women in Rwanda.

Linda Dahlstrom

Story Supervisor


Linda Dahlstrom is the director of storytelling for Starbucks Stories. Previously, she spent 25 years as a newspaper and digital journalist and led the global health team at and NBC News Digital before going on to help create an embedded newsroom at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Melanie McLean Brooks



Melanie McLean Brooks is a documentary director of photography, focusing on food politics and gender issues based in Denver, Colo. She values leadership and participation in her local community and thus collaborates with local nonprofits in various capacities.

Bethany Mollenkof



Bethany Mollenkof is a filmmaker and photographer. Her work is focused at the intersection of gender, identity and culture. She finds meaning in telling stories that reframe the narratives of marginalized people. Bethany graduated from Western Kentucky University where she studied photojournalism and art history.

Jenni Morello



Jenni Morello is a documentary cinematographer and filmmaker, born and raised in Norwich, Conn. She served in Peace Corps Morocco and received a BA in Fine Arts+Art History from Fordham University, and a MFA in Social Documentary Film from the School of Visual Arts. Jenni is based in Brooklyn, NY.

Melissa Lyttle

Still Photographer


Melissa Lyttle is a still photographer based in Washington, D.C. She earned her journalism degree from the University of Florida and began her career in newspapers, where she worked for nearly 15 years. She loves documentary projects, sports culture and allowing people’s personalities to come out in portraiture.

Taylor Roy

Sound Recordist


Taylor Roy is a New York City-based sound recordist working in documentary, commercial and narrative film.

Liz Perlman



Liz is a documentary and narrative film editor whose work has screened at film festivals worldwide.

Celia Beasley



Celia Beasley grew up in Oakland to a sculptor father and French tour-guide mother. After attending Barnard College in New York, she moved to Paris to work in photojournalism and then television. She currently edits commercials, narrative films and documentaries created by Seattle’s community of independent filmmakers.

Bennett Barbakow, Rob Amjarv

Original Music


Bennett Barbakow and Robert Amjarv are an award-winning composing duo based out of Los Angeles, CA. They make music for film, television, commercials, interactive work, and installations, and have exhibited at numerous film festivals across the world, as well as venues such as The Hammer Museum, Sunnylands / Annenberg Estate, The Sonos Gallery, and the Granoff Center For Creative Arts.

Raelene Goodson, Brenden Mendoza

Design Direction


Brenden is a Creative Manager at Starbucks leading a team of designers who bring to life the Starbucks Brand Promise. When he's not at work he can be found at the gym, dancing the lindy hop and enjoying the outdoors. Raelene is a graphic designer who has spent much of her career supporting Siren Retail at Starbucks. When she’s not designing she can be found preserving the art of letter writing, crafting or reading.

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