Two GBF short films nominated for National Emmy Awards

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences named two collaborative projects from Glassbreaker Films as finalists for the 39th annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards.

Both short films were produced through our 2016-2017 initiative at The Center for Investigative Reporting.

Co-produced with Netflix, “Heroin(e)” earned a nod in the outstanding short documentary category. Directed by Peabody Award-winning grantee, Elaine McMillion Sheldon, the film examines the opioid epidemic’s impact on Huntington, West Virginia, by tracing the paths of three women who are working to break the cycle of drug abuse. Sheldon also received a nomination for the film at the 90th Academy Awards in March.

Before Prison, a short film that was part of part of a larger project called Locked Up (produced through partnership with CIR and The Frontier) was nominated for outstanding new approaches: arts, lifestyle and culture. The project, reported by Ziva Branstetter and Allison Herrera, dug into the toll of high incarceration rates for women in Oklahoma: The state locks up women at more than twice the national average. The short film was directed and produced by grantees, Olivia Loomis Merrion and Emily Harger during their filmmaker in residence program led by senior producer, Aubrey Aden-Buie. 

Congrats to all nominees! The News & Documentary Emmy Awards presentation will be held on Oct. 1 at the Time Warner Center in New York.

 
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Glassbreaker Films
One on one with GBF grantee Leah Galant
 

Death Metal Grandma, a documentary short directed by twenty-five year old filmmaker, Leah Galant, published last week on the NYT Op-Docs! Galant, who is based in NYC is already hard at work on her next documentary, but she made time to answer some questions about her film, working with the GBF team, and advice for other filmmakers. 

Congrats Leah!  

First of all, tell us a little more about your film, Death Metal Grandma

97 year old Holocaust Survivor, Inge Ginsberg, rose to fame as a songwriter for legendary musicians such as Doris Day, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole. DEATH METAL GRANDMA follows Inge Ginsberg’s journey to break out as a performer of death metal music and as she prepares for an America’s Got Talent Audition. The short documentary interweaves the rich personal history of Inge’s life as she attempts to merge her personal lyrics with the contemporary genre of Death Metal.

 

 

What was your main goal with the film?

Beyond how incredible Inge is- I wanted to capture the nuances of old age especially for elder women. Inge is compelled to get her music out into the world because she feels that elder women are cast off and forgotten from society. It's such a shame that this culture doesn't honor their elders like other cultures do because they hold so much wisdom and especially Holocaust survivors because pretty soon there will be none left. Inge drew just as must strength from being around young people as we did from being around her immense wisdom and resilience.

How did you find your story and your main character, Inge?

I had just finished filming another film about two holocaust survivors called Kitty and Ellen when my friend texted me that he was on her music video set and that I should check her out. I immediately without hesitation knew I wanted to create a documentary with Inge when I found out that she sang death metal music over her poetry. Once we finally met and I found out she was auditioning for America's Got Talent- we knew that would be the story arc of the film.

What was the biggest challenge of making this film?

The biggest challenge was time. We felt pressed for time since Inge was leaving the country and also because of her age. At times the production felt rushed but ultimately we needed to capture Inge as much as possible before Inge left.

Who was essential to your team and to making this film?

Sean Weiner, my producer and mentor was there with me through thick and thin especially in moments when I was losing confidence in the story and in myself. Kervin Marseille who was an incredible DP and worked with me closely on my vision for the film. Christine Wexler and Elizabeth Pauker, my producers who were there to support every step of the process. Stephanie Khoury who co-edited this film with me and has been a close friend of mine since we met in college. A few other people who made this project possible were Linhan Zhang, Clifford Miu, Caleb Oaks, Justin Drobinski, The Jacob Burns Film Center Creative Culture class of 2018 and many many more!

 

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Where has your film been screened so far? And where can people watch it?

The film premiered at SXSW film festival and has its international premiere at Hot Docs. We have screened at numerous other festivals including Palm Springs Short Fest, San Fransisco Jewish Film Festival, and even festivals overseas! I'm excited to share that you can now watch the film online through the NY Times Op-Docs section!

What was your first thought/reaction when you found out you received a Glassbreaker Films grant?

I was in complete shock. I actually didn't think it was true so I emailed Aubrey and Elisa a few more times and then it sank in. This was the first project I've made that has been fully supported and I can't thank Glassbreaker enough for believing in me and the project. Supporting female filmmakers especially early on in their career is crucial. Often times people see our work as hobbies or side gigs but we want our work to be taken seriously and Glassbreaker films makes that possible.

What impact has Glassbreaker Films had on your film and/or on you as a filmmaker?

The film would not have been completed without this grant and the project is of such a higher production value. Beyond finishing the film- the grant instilled a confidence in myself and in my work that has inspired me to push full steam ahead with my feature length documentary project about the last abortion clinic on the US Mexico border. As I mentioned before- supporting young female directors is crucial in an industry and time in our lives where finances and glass ceilings often hinder us from doing the work we love. I wish that every aspiring young female creator could have the same opportunities offered by Glassbreaker and we would be winning a lot more Oscars!

Any advice to other filmmakers just starting out?

Keep making films and EVERYONE has a story to tell! Film on the weekends, at night, early in the morning- just keep on creating! Also- even if you dont think you have the skills- YOU DO. Say yes to jobs and opportunities and don't be intimidated into thinking you don't have what it takes. Especially in male dominated spaces! More men say yes to jobs they are less qualified for than women simply because of confidence.

What is your favorite part about being a documentary filmmaker?

Social impact and change! I love that the story shifts and changes and you have to be flexible with what reality gives you. There is a sense of vulnerability and uncertainty that actually inspires me in the edit to reflect a similar emotional experience that I have experienced with a character whether that be a shift or change of perspective.

Wildest Dream-- Where are you in your career (or life, career isn't everything) in 10 years?

I hope to be making feature length documentaries without having to pick up 20 extra side gigs and to focus 100 percent of my time and energy into projects that I love.

Who's a (woman) filmmaker you admire?

Eliza Hittman, Alexandria Bombach, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, Kristina Goolsby and my incredible female filmmaker friends.

What's the best documentary film (digital/short/or feature length) that you've seen this year?

Minding The Gap, 306 Hollywood and On Her Shoulders

Favorite camera to shoot on?

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Favorite part about the filmmaking process?

Getting to know your documentary subjects and widening my perspective. Learning something new!

Least favorite part of the filmmaking process?

Holding the boom pole haha!

Random fact no one would know about you?

I've seen the musical spring awakening 18 times

Any recent honors/awards or proud moments in your filmmaking career? With this film, or in general? 

I was awarded the Sundance Ignite fellowship and Jacob Burns Film Center fellowship in 2017 which were instrumental in getting Death Metal Grandma made. At Ithaca College my film team won a Student Emmy for our film The Provider which was a film that has inspired my new feature documentary about abortion.

Anything else about your film or working with GBF that we forgot to ask?

It's been so great to be welcomed into this community of powerful female filmmakers!

 

Thank you Leah!!! And congratulations. 

You can view more about Leah and her work on her website

Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Vimeo

 

 

 
Glassbreaker Films
Death Metal Grandma Premieres on NYT OpDocs

One of our newest Glassbreaker Films' short doc, Death Metal Grandma, premiered today on the Op-Docs from The New York Times. 

Directed by grantee Leah Galant, Death Metal Grandma follows 97 year old Holocaust Survivor, Inge Ginsberg, on her journey to break out as a performer of death metal music. As she prepares for an America’s Got Talent Audition, this short documentary interweaves the rich personal history of Inge’s life as she attempts to merge her personal lyrics with the contemporary genre of Death Metal.

Read more about the film on Op-Docs.

Glassbreaker Films
Olivia Loomis Merrion Talks About Murrow Award

We caught up with filmmaker Olivia Loomis Merrion to hear the inside scoop behind her Glassbreaker Films short doc, Recovering From Rehab, that won an Edward R. Murrow Award this week for Investigative Reporting.

Merrion directed and produced the piece during her time embedded at The Center for Investigative Reporting during her filmmaker in residence program under the guidance of Senior Producer Aubrey Aden-Buie and EP Amanda Pike. It was based on reporting from superstar journalists, Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walter.

You can watch the film here.

 
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Olivia! First of all, congrats on the Murrow Award! Can you tell us more about your film, Recovering From Rehab?

Olivia: Thank you! This video was made to accompany an investigation done at Reveal. Reporters Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walter began their investigation (now a Pulitzer finalist investigation, I might add...) into the Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery rehab facility months before I got involved. Brad, the focus of the video, had a particularly moving story. During one of their final reporting trips, I got involved. 

What stands out about this story and why was it so important to tell?

O: A judge sent Brad, who had never used drugs, to Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery to simply teach him a "work ethic." From injury and issues at the facility, he left with a disabled hand and an addiction to painkillers. That is wrong. The investigation led to class action lawsuits, government investigations and companies to cancel their contracts. 

What obstacles, if any, did you have to navigate while shooting this project? Were there ever any moments when you thought it might not come to fruition?

O: Nothing in documentary works out the way you think it will. When things kept changing in the field, I kept re-doing my story map. I think in 72 hours it changed drastically three times. Constantly rethinking story while shooting is my favorite part of the job. But sometimes, you can definitely think: yeah, no way this'll work. Thankfully, I had Reveal and GB teams at my side the whole time offering suggestions. 

What was it like to work with the team of reporters and producers between CIR and Glassbreaker Films? 

O: Exactly what you said, amazing. I can't emphasize enough the amount of work Sho and Amy put into their investigation to get everything right. I'd leave the office at 8 and they'd be ordering pizza so they could keep working.  Everyone at GB was there to hold my hand through the process. There were multiple calls back to the home front (aka producer Aubrey Aden-Buie) while I was filming to go over thoughts on story. To add Amanda Pike, Rachel de Leon, Aden-Buie, Debora Silva and Emily Harger were the secret sauce, absolutely. Video is 100% collaborative. 

What can people look forward to seeing next from you? 

O: I have one short that is in post that is being graciously funded by GB films. It's not investigative, but rather a fun film and I can't wait until it's out in the world. 

Glassbreaker Films
'Recovering From Rehab' honored with National Murrow Award

We're honored that one of our films, Recovering From Rehab, has been included among this year's National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners!

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Recovering From Rehab is a short film produced by our team while embedded at The Center for Investigative Reporting last year. The film was directed by former filmmaker in residence, and current grantee, Olivia Loomis Merrion, with guidance from Senior Producer, Aubrey Aden-Buie, and EP, Amanda Pike. It was based on reporting from superstar journalists Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walter. 

The film follows the story of Brad McGahey, who in 2010, was sentenced to a year in prison for buying a stolen horse trailer. But when he went before a judge, he was told he was going to carry out his sentence by working instead, through a program called CAAIR, or Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery.

McGahey wasn’t addicted to anything at the time of his sentencing. Hundreds of men are sent to CAAIR in lieu of a prison sentence each year. The program promises recovery from addiction for participants, but most of their time is spent working at a chicken processing plant, where they pull guts and feathers from slaughtered chickens and prepare them for distribution to companies such as Walmart, KFC and PetSmart.

The film was part of our Year One initiative funding and supporting women filmmakers and investigative reporters. It was fully funded by The Helen Gurley Brown Foundation. 

The full list of credits includes: 
Director/Producer: Olivia Merrion
Reporters: Amy Julia Harris & Shoshana Walter
Editors: Jennifer LaFleur & Andrew Donohue
Editor in Chief: Amy Pyle
Executive Producer: Amanda Pike
Senior Producer: Aubrey Aden-Buie
Coordinating Producer: Rachel de Leon

You can view the full list of Murrow winners on their website. 

Glassbreaker Films
Grantee Laura Nix invited to join The Academy
 
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We’re proud to announce that Glassbreaker Films grantee, Laura Nix, is now members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences!

Nix's latest project, Inventing Tomorrow, premiered at Sundance in 2018 and has been traveling the world since then. 

A director, writer and producer working in non-fiction and fiction, Nix previously directed THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING, (Toronto Film Festival 2014, Berlinale 2015), which was released domestically and in multiple international territories. Her film THE LIGHT IN HER EYES premiered at IDFA; was broadcast on the PBS series POV and Al Jazeera Middle East. Other feature directing credits include the comedic melodrama THE POLITICS OF FUR, which played in over 70 festivals internationally and won multiple awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest; and WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, about the phenomenon of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. She is currently a film expert for the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase, and her nonfiction work has screened at hundreds of film festivals internationally, on The New York Times Op-Docs, and on television via HBO, Arte, ZDF, VPRO, CBC, NHK, Canal+, and IFC

She joins an Academy that announced a record-setting 928 invited members, 49 percent of which are women and 38 percent people of color.  Nine branches, including the Producers, Film Editors, and Documentary branches invited more women than men. 

We're thrilled with the increase in diversity of both women and people of color... but the work is far from over and we still have a long way to go. 

To learn more about the Academy's newest members, visit their website. Here's a glance at some of their numbers: 

 
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Glassbreaker Films
Grantee Laura Nix wins big at SIFF

Go Team Inventing Tomorrow! 

GBF grantee Laura Nix won big at the Seattle International Film Festival with her film Inventing Tomorrow The feature, supported by Glassbreaker Films, received the 2018 SIFF Grand Jury Prize in the Documentary Competition. 

SIFF 2018 Jury Statement: “For it’s compelling cast of young visionaries from around the globe who are engaged and looking for solutions to the world’s environmental problems, Inventing Tomorrow offers us a sense of optimism and the certainty that science matters.”

We're so proud of Nix and the rest of her team of brilliant women and love seeing the impact the film has had on audiences around the world.

 
 
Glassbreaker Films
Glassbreaker Films wins Gracie Award
 
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Glassbreaker Films was honored at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles on May 22, 2018, for best Original Online Programming - Video Series for The Aftermath. 

The Aftermath,” a four-part documentary series revisiting stories that once dominated the news yet remain relevant today, was produced through our partnership with The Center for Investigative Reporting last year. Episodes in the series look at what happened in the years following national tragedies such as the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; Erin Brockovich’s crusade against California energy company PG&E; the BART police killing of Oscar Grant in Oakland, California; and the mass shootings in the Colorado cities of Columbine and Aurora.

The project was led by then senior producer, Aubrey Aden-Buie and the films were directed/produced/shot/edited by Olivia Loomis Merrion and Debora Souza Silva under the guidance of EP Amanda Pike, with assistance from Emily Harger and coordinating producer Rachel de Leon.

The Gracies are administered by the Alliance for Women in Media and recognize excellence in programming by, about and for women in all genres of media.

A full list of winners is available on the Gracie Award website.

Congrats to an amazing team and thank you to the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation for making Glassbreaker Films possible!

 
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Glassbreaker Films
Meet Our Newest Catalyst Grantees

As year two gets into full swing, we're excited to share some of our newest Glassbreaker Films Catalyst grantees, and are thrilled to be working with this incredible cohort of talented emerging filmmakers.

Catalyst Grants are designed for early career filmmakers who are less than five years out of college or graduate school. This grant provides mentorship for emerging filmmakers and funds to produce a nonfiction original film project for digital platforms.

 
 

We can't wait to see what these superstars produce!  Applications for Catalyst Grants are now open. To find out more information, and to apply, click here. 

Glassbreaker Films
Débora Souza Silva awarded Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant

Former filmmaker in residence and current Glassbreaker Films grantee, Débora Souza Silva, was awarded the 2018 Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant from Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina. 

 
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Souza Silva was one of two recipients of the award for her work on Black Mothers. Lucas Habte received the honor with her for Shadow of His Wings. The recipients presented excerpts from their works-in-progress prior to the screening of Minding the Gap, directed by 2017 grant recipient Bing Liu on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. 

 

From Full Frame: 

The Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant was founded in 2007 to support singular new voices in documentary film. Its emphasis is on first-time filmmakers with unconventional training, those making formally challenging work, and those grappling with difficult subjects. Welcoming any background, training or subject, the overriding mission is to support unique filmmaking talents at this crucial moment in their careers.

The grant strives to connect new filmmakers to the larger documentary community. Grantees are invited to the annual festival as special guests, and given the opportunity to take part in one-on-one meetings, work-in-progress screenings, and a range of related activities. Working closely with Full Frame, grant committee members Ian Olds, Rachael Rakes, Thom Powers, and Esther Robinson have built an ongoing support pipeline that helps first-time filmmakers cultivate creative and professional relationships, build their understanding of the industry, and forge lasting networks of industry support as they move toward completion of their first feature film.

 
Glassbreaker Films
Introducing Glassbreakers—Our New Film Series now on Glamour
 
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For International Women's Day, we partnered with Glamour and The Center for Investigative Reporting to release a series of short films that feature portraits of a diverse, powerful group of women making their mark.

This series was led by current Program Director, Aubrey Aden-Buie, through our partnership at CIR. The stories cover a range of incredible women—from a police officer fighting racism within her own department, to a politician touted as the next Democratic nominee for president of the United States, to a 65-year old kitesurfer, and a woman fighting for your online security. They were directed, shot and edited by Aden-Buie, Olivia Loomis Merrion, Emily Harger and Debora Souza Silva, under Executive Producer Amanda Pike, with the help of coordinating producer, Rachel de Leon and intern, Julia Katter. 

Check out the series on Glamour now!

 
Glassbreaker Films
Heroin(e) Nominated for Oscar

“Heroin(e),” the story of three women battling the opioid epidemic in West Virginia, has been nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary short subject. Directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon, the film follows efforts to break the devastating cycle of drug abuse in Huntington, West Virginia, a city with an overdose rate 10 times the national average.

The Netflix original documentary was co-produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and Requisite Media. It was part of The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Glassbreaker Films initiative, funded by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, which supported women in documentary filmmaking and investigative journalism.

This is the first Academy Award nomination for Sheldon.

“Being part of the Glassbreaker initiative was an invaluable opportunity to not only get my work funded – a huge barrier to making documentaries – but also an invitation into a supportive, creative and talented collective of women filmmakers and journalists,” Sheldon said. “As an independent documentarian, having the support of my Glassbreaker colleagues, and the editorial and journalistic chops of The Center for Investigative Reporting, had a huge impact on the success of ‘Heroin(e).’ ”

“With Glassbreaker Films, we set out to produce films by powerful women about powerful women,” said Christa Scharfenberg, Reveal’s acting CEO. “As a West Virginia native herself, Elaine brought sensitivity, insight and respect to her story about a community easily ignored by the rest of the country. We are honored that 'Heroin(e)' is being recognized with an Academy Award nomination and grateful for the partnership with Netflix to bring this inspiring film to a worldwide audience.”

 
 

Oscar recipients will be announced during the March 4 broadcast.

“Heroin(e)” is available globally on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80192445

See the full list of Oscar nominations here.

Click here to learn more about Heroin(e)

Glassbreaker Films
Calling women filmmakers
 
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As part of our continued dedication to promote gender parity in documentary filmmaking, Glassbreaker Films is launching its second year, and inviting proposals from female filmmakers, directors and producers for WIP funding. Work-in-Progress (WIP) funding gives filmmakers the ability to produce a piece that provides a look at the story, characters and style of a proposed feature length nonfiction film.

Glassbreaker Films WIP grants provide up to $10,000 to women documentary filmmakers who have a unique story to tell, and are ready to create a WIP that will showcase their storytelling ability to secure financial support for full production.

We accept applications on a rolling basis, with the first deadline for applications Jan. 31, 2018. As part of the grant, Glassbreaker Films supports our grantees with professional development opportunities.

You can apply if you own the copyright of your production and maintain editorial control of your story and you are a citizen or legal resident of the U.S. or its external territories age 18 or older.

WHO WE FUND: We support and encourage women filmmakers to produce stories about issues that impact women in the United States.

WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR: 

  • Broadcast or impactful digital potential through suitability of subject matter and compelling storytelling
  • Powerful narratives around issues that affect women
  • Relevance to a broad audience
  • The capacity to finish the project through realistic attention to the schedule and budget.
  • Previous film or television production experience in a principal production role as director, co-director, producer or co-producer.
  • Filmmakers that have a clear commitment to engage with organizations to access funding

A little more about us: Glassbreaker Films is a female filmmaker initiative launched by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation. We are dedicated to supporting women to be leaders in non-fiction filmmaking by funding films that tell great stories and inspire audiences. To learn more, and to view previous work, check out our website: glassbreakerfilms.org and follow us on Instagram: @glassbreakerfilms.

In addition to the WIP funding described here, the initiative also includes funding for early-career filmmakers through our Catalyst Grants; and funding for the production of feature length documentaries through our WID (Women in Docs) program.

To apply, please fill out this form by Jan. 31.

Questions? Please contact WID Director, Elisa Gambino, at elisa@glassbreakerfilms.org.

Glassbreaker Films
Calling early-career women filmmakers
 
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As part of our continued dedication to promote gender parity in documentary filmmaking, Glassbreaker Films is launching its second year of funding, and inviting proposals from early career female filmmakers, directors and producers for a new initiative called Catalyst Grants.

The Glassbreaker Films Catalyst Grants identify standout early career filmmakers, less than 5 years post college or graduate school with degrees in film and/or journalism. Catalyst Grants allow a diverse group of young filmmakers to conceive of a short, innovative and original digital project to receive funding and mentorship to bring it to life and kick start their career.

All stories must be produced within the US, and funding is capped at $7,000 per grant. Each project must be completed within 2-3 months of funding.

There is not one standard form for these projects (could be anything from a series of 3 character vignettes exploring a topic from different angles, to an interactive website that explores an issue, to a short documentary that also rolls out on Snapchat) but they must be artful and innovative, and there must be proof that they can be produced within the timeline and budget. We’re looking for highly cinematic, character driven storytelling covering topics of social significance to be published on a digital platform. 

You can apply if you own the copyright of your production and maintain editorial control of your story and you are a citizen or legal resident of the U.S. or its external territories age 18 or older.

WHO WE FUND: We support and encourage early career women filmmakers (less than five years post-graduation) to produce stories about issues that impact women in the United States.

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:

  • Impactful digital potential through suitability of subject matter and compelling storytelling
  • Powerful narratives around issues that affect women
  • Relevance to a broad audience
  • The capacity to finish the project through realistic attention to the schedule and budget.

Filmmakers will be chosen three times throughout the year. The first round of applications is due January 31, 2018. Early applications are encouraged.

A little more about us: Glassbreaker Films is a female filmmaker initiative launched by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation. We are dedicated to supporting women to be leaders in non-fiction filmmaking by funding films that tell great stories and inspire audiences. To learn more, and to view previous work, check out our website: glassbreakerfilms.org and follow us on Instagram: @glassbreakerfilms.

In addition to the catalyst grant funding described here, the initiative also includes development funding for feature length films through our WIP (works-in-progress) funding; and funding for the production of feature length documentaries through our WID (Women in Docs) program.

To apply, please fill out this form by Jan. 31.

Questions? Please contact Catalyst Grant Director, Aubrey Aden-Buie, at aubrey@glassbreakerfilms.org.

Glassbreaker Films
Grieving in a Fishbowl featured by The Atlantic Selects

The Atlantic Selects featured another one of our short films, Grieving in a Fishbowl, by Olivia Merrion. 

From The Atlantic Selects: 

How Survivors of Mass Shootings 'Grieve in a Fishbowl'

Nov 13, 2017

“It’s this horrible curiosity, like a car accident, where everybody has to slow down and look at it.” In Olivia Merrion’s short documentary Grieving in a Fishbowl, produced by the Glassbreaker Films initiative from The Center for Investigative Reporting, survivors of gun massacres recount how the media descended upon them in the wake of the tragedy. They were asked time and again what they saw, how they felt having survived, and why they think it happened. But, as one survivor says in the film, “when the first anniversary [of the shooting] comes around, everyone forgets, and that’s when we need the most help.”

Heather Martin was a senior at Columbine High School in 1999 when two shooters gunned down dozens of her classmates and teachers. To create a space for survivors to talk about their grief and traumatic new realities, she co-founded The Rebels Project, a nationwide support network that connects survivors of mass tragedy to help them process their experiences. Although Martin says she desperately wants the group to stop growing, every year, more members come together under similar tragic circumstances.

 

This Glassbreaker Films short film was produced by Merrion during her residency with The Center for Investigative Reporting. 

Glassbreaker Films
Splinter featured The Divided Series

Splinter featured our new series The Divided! 

“The Divided” was part of the Glassbreaker Films collaboration with The Center for Investigative Reporting. It was created by Senior Producer, Aubrey Aden-Buie, and filmmakers in residence Olivia Merrion, Emily Harger and Debora Souza Silva during their year working at CIR, under the guidance of executive producer, Amanda Pike, and with support from coordinating producer, Rachel de Leon.

The series explores hopes, fears and actions that followed the 2016 presidential election. During the past year, our filmmakers traveled the country to meet people affected by issues that divide America. 

You can view the full series at: revealnews.org/article/the-divided/

 
 
Glassbreaker Films
'Is Egg Donation Safe?' Featured on The Atlantic Selects
 

The Atlantic Selects featured another one of our short films, Is Egg Donation Safe?, by Olivia Merrion and Emily Harger.

From: THE ATLANTIC SELECTS

Is Egg Donation Safe?

Jessica Wing was a healthy Stanford University student when she was paid to donate eggs on three separate occasions—funds which she allocated toward her student debt. Less than ten years later, she died of colon cancer. Because Jessica had no family history of the disease, her mother, Dr. Jennifer Schneider, wondered if there might be a link between the many hormone injections necessary for egg donation and Jessica’s cancer. But to her surprise, Dr. Schneider discovered that not a single study has been done on the long-term health risks of egg donation

To view the full story, visit: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/543675/is-egg-donation-safe/. This Glassbreaker Films short film was produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting. 

 

 

 
Aubrey Aden-Buie
Before Prison Featured on The Atlantic Selects

The Atlantic Selects featured another one of our short films, Before Prison, by Emily Harger and Olivia Merrion. 

 

From: THE ATLANTIC SELECTS

Oklahoma Imprisons Women at the Highest Rate in the United States

Oklahoma has the highest female incarceration rate in the country—more than twice the national average. This short documentary, produced by the Glassbreaker Films initiative while at The Center for Investigative Reporting sent filmmakers Olivia Merrion and Emily Harger with CIR reporters, to find out why. 

To view the story on The Atlantic Selects: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/543456/before-prison-female-incarceration-rate-oklahoma/

For more information on Oklahoma’s high female incarceration rate, read Reveal’s article.

Aubrey Aden-Buie
Heroin(e) Premieres on Netflix!

From Forbes:

"For a city its size, Huntington, West Virginia, has a surprising number of superlatives to its name -- none of them positive. For years, it has been called the most obese city in the United States, with roughly 40 percent of its population of 50,000 qualifying for that dubious distinction. In 2008, the CDC called Huntington America's unhealthiest city.

Now, according to Heroin(e), a new documentary released this week on Netflix, it is also the overdose capital of the country. The film reports that in 2015, Huntington saw 10 times the national average of opioid overdoses, with as many as 26 in a single day. The average, says Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, hovers around five to seven."

Aubrey Aden-Buie