Who we are

Glassbreaker Films is an initiative launched by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation to support women to be leaders in nonfiction filmmaking by funding films that tell great stories and inspire audiences. Through a multi-level funding strategy, Glassbreaker Films supports a filmmaker at different stages in her career. Funds are allocated for innovative nonfiction digital projects from early career filmmakers through Catalyst Grants, and production funds of documentary shorts and features are produced through our Women in Docs program. Glassbreaker Films prioritizes documentary shorts, however we do consider feature length documentaries that fit within the funding limits.


Our Founder and Funders:

Helen Gurley Brown was a glassbreaker in her own right as well as a best-selling author and editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for decades. Her husband, David Brown, was a renowned filmmaker and producer responsible for such well known films as Driving Miss Daisy, The Verdict and Jaws. At Glassbreaker Films we celebrate Helen’s and David’s spirit of innovation and independence, and their commitment to transformative storytelling.


OUR funding streams


Our team




Aubrey brings expertise in digital production and multimedia journalism. She led the Glassbreaker Films 2016-2017 Filmmakers in Residence program at The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she and her team of three filmmakers produced over 20 short films. She also created the BridgeUP: FILM program to teach nonfiction film to high school girls in underserved areas of Oakland, Ca. In her career, she has a wide range of experience, from covering back-to-back NBA Championships with the Miami Heat, to reporting for PBS Newshour on lack of accountability in shipyards. She was named one of Cynopsis Media's Top Women in Digital in 2016 for her intimate coverage of what life is like for refugees coming to the United States. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, PBS, The Center for Investigative Reporting, The Atlantic Selects, Politico, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Special Olympics, Mashable, Fox Sports, NPR, and more. She continues to work in communities around the globe, using video journalism as a tool to bring about social change





Elisa brings to bear an extraordinary journalistic foundation to her film productions. Based first in Rome and then in Moscow, Elisa spent her early career chronicling world events. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Gulf War in 1990, from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the wars in the former Yugoslavia and Somalia, Elisa was there. Her work in Somalia was recognized with a News and Documentary Emmy Award. She interviewed Nelson Mandela, Yasser Arafat, refugees in Bosnia, war criminals in Serbia and South Africans celebrating their first free vote. Recently, her independent film, Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi was screened at Hot Docs and broadcast on Al Jazeera America, CBC and across Europe. Today her work takes her around the corner and around the globe to produce films that shine a light on global health challenges.




Director, Business Development and Operations

Denise is an experienced CEO/President/Advisor/Corporate Board Member with a proven track record growing and operating profitable businesses in the media and publishing sector and driving transformational digital change in marketing, product and sales. She is an independent board member for Electronic Arts, a publisher of game software and services, since May 2013. She was named to the board of Newscycle, a Vista Equity Partners backed enterprise software company, in October 2017.  She is currently the CEO and founder of Netlyst, LLC a consulting and advisory practice focused on catalyzing digital business growth and scaling consumer and business-to-business revenue streams. Denise served as President of Digital & CEO of East Coast Publishing for Tribune Publishing (now tronc). In her 26 years with The New York Times Company, Ms. Warren served in numerous capacities such as Executive Vice President of Digital Products & Services; General Manager, nytimes.com; Chief Advertising Officer; Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning; and Director of Marketing. She led the development and execution of The New York Times successful paid digital subscription model, which ushered in the industry standard for monetizing premium digital content. She also transformed The Times Ad Sales organization into a multi-platform, consultative and client focused sales team.




Board Member, HGB Foundation

Kim is senior vice president/editorial & brand director of Hearst Magazines International, a unit of Hearst, overseeing the brand direction of the company’s nearly 250 global editions for powerful brands including Cosmopolitan, the largest young women's media brand in the world, Harper's BAZAAR, Esquire and Good Housekeeping, among others. For more than 35 years, Bodden has worked across six continents and countless countries to launch and guide Hearst’s international editions, implementing the most innovative and effective ways to connect teams and share ideas, best practices and content across geographies and platforms. Bodden’s role is part of a core team at Hearst responsible for growing the global Hearst audience, evolving global businesses and creating a culture of content sharing across the international network. Bodden is a member of various women’s organizations and has been inducted as an honoree into Women Leaders, a distinguished network of nearly 3,000 women recognized for their leadership, achievement and contributions to their companies, institutions and communities.




Board Member, HGB Foundation

Eve is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest diversified media, information and services companies with more than 360 global businesses. She is a member of the Hearst Board of Directors and has been one of Hearst’s leaders in establishing worldwide strategic enterprise deals with partners. Additionally, she is a member of Hearst’s Venture Committee which funds digital initiatives and is a leader of HearstLab, which fosters innovation and investment in early stage businesses led by women. Burton sits on the board of directors of Intuit, Inc., and prior to that was on the board of directors of AOL board until its recent sale to Verizon. She is a member of the advisory board of the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Stanford and Columbia Universities. The Hearst Office of General Counsel was awarded a lifetime First Amendment Award from the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press in 2016. She and her team have also been recognized by the National Press Club and the New York Press Club. Burton has won the Fulbright Award for her international work. She was also named an Outstanding Woman of the Bar by the New York County Lawyers’ Association.




Board Member, HGB Foundation

Roger is the Chief Investment Officer for the Hearst Corporation and Hearst Foundations. In his role, he manages the Hearst Corporation’s pension assets and those of The Hearst Foundations and related entities, which combined, exceed $4 billion. The Foundations are operated independently of Hearst Corporation. Recently, Roger was named to Chief Investment Officer’s Power 100 list of the most influential people at pensions, endowments, foundations, insurance funds and sovereign wealth funds worldwide. Previously, Mr. Paschke served as chief financial officer and senior vice president of OIL Group of Companies in Hamilton, Bermuda from 1997 to 2006, where he was responsible for the Company’s approximately $5 billion in assets under management, including its corporate and pension investments, capital initiatives, credit ratings for the company’s insurance entities and related debt issuances.


Advisory Board

The Foundation will appoint an advisory board that will change over time to assist the Foundation in evaluating and choosing the best works submitted. All final decisions on grants will be made by the Foundation directors.


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