Glassbreaker Films | About
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About

OUR STORY

Glassbreaker Films, a new project from The Center for Investigative Reporting, was launched to help promote gender parity in documentary filmmaking and investigative journalism. By investing specifically in female filmmakers, the Glassbreaker project strives to provide a voice to women worldwide and inspire audiences with issues of social significance.

Women account for

9%

Directors

17%

Executive producers

20%

Editors

2%

Cinematographers

To help combat the lack of representation in these fields, Glassbreaker Films includes a three-part strategy: a documentary series directed by accomplished female filmmakers, a one-year fellowship for emerging female filmmakers and a pilot training program for high school girls to learn video production and reporting skills.

OUR CORE TEAM

CHRISTA SCHARFENBERG

Head of Studio

Christa Scharfenberg is head of studio for Glassbreaker Films and The Center for Investigative Reporting. She helped launch “Reveal”, CIR’s Peabody Award-winning national public radio show and podcast, and now oversees the show’s long-term growth and business goals. She is part of the team currently developing a Reveal documentary film strategy. She joined CIR in 2003 as communications manager, served as acting executive director in 2007 and as associate director from 2008 to 2015. Scharfenberg helped launch CIR’s California Watch reporting project in 2009 and managed many aspects of the merger of CIR and The Bay Citizen in 2012. She has been an executive or senior producer of documentaries for CIR, including FRONTLINE co-productions and the independent film “Banished,” which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Scharfenberg was a 2014 fellow in the Punch Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at the Columbia University Journalism School. Prior to joining CIR, she was associate director of the Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco.

AMANDA PIKE

Executive Producer

Amanda Pike is the director of the video department at The Center for Investigative Reporting and the executive producer for Glassbreaker Films. Under her leadership, CIR has received three national Emmys and five national Murrow Awards. Previously, she spent nearly two decades reporting and producing documentaries for PBS, CBS, ABC, National Geographic, A&E, Lifetime and The Learning Channel, among others. Subjects have ranged from militia members in Utah to young entrepreneurs in Egypt and genocide perpetrators in Cambodia. Pike also has dabbled in fiction filmmaking, producing the short film “On the Assassination of the President,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Princeton University and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 

AUBREY ADEN-BUIE

Senior Digital Producer

Aubrey Aden-Buie is a senior digital producer for Glassbreaker Films and The Center for Investigative Reporting. She is also the Director of the BridgeUp: Film program. Aden-Buie was named one of the honorees in Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital Awards in 2016 for her coverage of what life is like for refugees coming to the United States. Her project “What is Home?,” exploring the lives of South Africans living in shacks two decades after the end of apartheid, earned an Online Journalism Award from the Online News Association in 2014. She was a producer on the Romania chapter of “Our Dream,” a documentary highlighting discrimination that Europe’s Roma communities face and working to create conditions for their social inclusion. The video “A Tale of Two Villages” won best director at the Golden Wheel Festival in Skopje, Macedonia. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Mashable, NPR, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated and the Special Olympics. Aden-Buie graduated from the Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State University and received her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Miami. Before a back injury ended her career, she was a professional soccer player. 

RACHEL DE LEON

Coordinating Producer

Rachel de Leon is the coordinating producer for the Glassbreaker Films initiative. She has worked in video for more than 10 years as a videographer and producer. In 2014, she completed her first short documentary, “Cab City,” for her master’s thesis in the documentary program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She received two Emmys in 2016 for her work on the “The Dead Unknown” web series and the PBS NewsHour segment “Deadly Oil Fields.” As the coordinating producer for Glassbreaker Films, she will work closely with the featured filmmakers to help launch a series of their five short documentaries.  

OUR FUNDER

Glassbreaker Films is funded through a grant from the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation. A glassbreaker in her own right, Gurley Brown was a best-selling author and editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine.

“What you have to do is work with the raw material you have,

namely you.”

Helen Gurley Brown

CONTACT US

For more information, you can reach us at glassbreakerfilms@cironline.org