Maria Fortiz-Morse is a recent graduate of Stanford University's M.F.A. program in documentary film and video, where Trash-Out was produced. Through the use of intimate, observational camerawork, she seeks to document the essential humanity of her subjects. Her experience growing up in a multiracial family has inspired her to document stories that bridge cultural differences and compel viewers to become invested in social change. Prior to studying documentary filmmaking at Stanford University, Fortiz-Morse worked as an associate producer, researcher and writer for a PBS affiliate in New York City, and then as a multimedia consultant for the government in Washington, D.C.