Glassbreaker Films | Documentary Series
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Documentary Series


The Glassbreaker series is a five-part documentary about women taking control, taking power, taking chances and breaking the mold, helmed by prominent women filmmakers.



Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a two-time Academy Award – and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. She has made more than a dozen films in over 10 countries. Her most recent film, “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” which she directed for HBO, won the 2016 Academy Award for best documentary short subject and prompted Pakistan’s parliament to pass a bill banning honor killing. “Saving Face,” which she directed and produced with Daniel Junge for HBO, won the 2012 Academy Award for best documentary short subject. In 2012, Time magazine included her in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.


Dawn Porter is an award-winning filmmaker whose 2013 documentary, “Gideon’s Army,” won a Sundance Film Festival editing award, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy, and later was broadcast on HBO. Porter’s other films include “Spies of Mississippi and Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper,” a documentary chronicling President Barack Obama’s program to help young men and boys of color succeed. Her latest project, “Trapped,” explores the impact of laws regulating abortion clinics in the South. It premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking.


Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s interactive documentary “Hollow” received a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award and a 2014 Emmy nomination. She is the co-creator of “She Does,” a biweekly audio documentary series that documents creative women’s journeys. In 2016, Chicken & Egg Pictures awarded her with an inaugural “Breakthrough Filmmaker” Award. McMillion Sheldon was a 2013 Future of StoryTelling Fellow, and was named one of the “25 new faces of independent film” in 2013 by Filmmaker Magazine. She is currently in production on a feature-length documentary about the opioid epidemic in Appalachia.


Ann Shin is a multiple award-winning director and new media producer whose films and series have been broadcast across the globe, and screened at festivals around the world. Her most recent film, “My Enemy, My Brother,” was nominated for a 2016 Emmy and shortlisted for an Academy Award. Her previous film, “The Defector: Escape from North Korea,” won best documentary and best documentary director at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards. Her work has been broadcast on CBC, ABC, HBO Europe, Discovery Channel, TVO, SBS, History Channel, PBS, and SuperChannel.


Penny Lane’s most recent film “NUTS!” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a special jury prize for editing. Her debut feature documentary “Our Nixon” premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, had its North American premiere at South by Southwest , won the Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and was selected as the closing-night film at New Directors/New Films. Lane was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 new faces of independent film in 2012. Her short films, such as “The Voyagers” (2010), have won accolades at film festivals and popularity online. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name.