Catherine Dao (Director/Producer/Actor) As a Chinese-American immigrant making her way into the film business, it was only natural for Catherine to take a little detour to earn a Doctorate in Chemistry from USC, with full scholarship, of course. Little did her parents realize what she learned as a scientist would serve to fuel her pursuit of a passion in filmmaking. Very early on in her career, numerous experiences in films and theatres have won her many positive responses in the press. The results of her dedication to working with women directors had been recognized in Visual Communications’ In Focus for “Cloud and Moon” with Cheng-Sim Lim, and in the American Film magazine for “Kalito” with Mary Jane Eisenberg. In addition, she has performed in “A Community of Caring,” which won the L. A. Emmy, directed by sit-com director Mary Lou Belli, and in “Birds of a Feather,” which won the Houston Worldfest Bronze Award AND the Crystal Award of Excellence, directed by Lisa Dalton.
As a veteran actor of the theatre, Catherine's portrayal of a young Hiroshima survivor of the atomic bomb in "A-Bomb Beauties" was noted by The Hollywood Reporter, calling it "outstanding.., Dao captures the anguish of a woman torn from her culture." Some of her other film and television credits also include UPN's MOESHA, UNSOLVED MYSTERIES, GENERAL HOSPITAL, THE DIVISION, BET’s FIRE AND ICE, THE TONIGHT SHOW, UNFABULOUS, THE SHIELD, GREY’S ANATOMY, CYBER BANDITS, the Jimmie Award-winning film CHINA CRY, and starred in the feature KILLER BABE FOR THE CIA with James Hong, which became a cult film and The Hollywood Reporter singled her out for an honorable mention. Also, she is the only principal female controller in Bob Zemeckis’ CONTACT. And, she had the luxury of working with the Oscar-winning Asian-American director Jessica Yu on the film “PING PONG PLAYA.”
Catherine’s interest in directing began when her actor friends would repeatedly ask her to direct their monologues and scenes for auditions. This interest evolved into a desire to write her own materials. Utilizing her chemistry knowledge and expertise, she wrote the thriller “Symphoria,” her fifth feature screenplay, but the first one to secure funds for production. Stay tuned. Now that she’s hooked, Catherine plots to further her directing career.