HAPPY LGBT PRIDE 2013!
We reached our last goal, and we have a new one!
This year we received grants from the Horizon's Foundation and Frameline Foundation. We have been programmed into Frameline's San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival for 2014. We need to raise the remaining funds to complete the film. Help us by visiting our new website:
Happy New Year from Marea Media!
Questions or donation glitches? Please contact us directly at email@example.com or donate directly to our fiscal sponsor, SAN FRANCISCO FILM SOCIETY. Rest assured that we will be keeping track of all of these donations so you will be credited with the appropriate perks.
We'veincentivizedour campaign to include gifts donated by local entrepreneurs and loyal supporters of Marea Media on a first come, first served basis.
$250+ donation level: (New Incentive)
CENTER STUDIO PILATES www.thecenterstudio.com, $100 certificate offered by owner and Gold Certified Pilates Teacher Larry Hall. 2 available -- SF only.
$50+ donation level:
INNA jam -- Fresh, seasonal, organic jam from local artisan and company founder Dafna Kory. $22 value including shipping. 1 remaining.
HELIOTROPE -- Natural, personalized skin care products conceived and developed by proprietor Jonathan Plotzker. $25 value. 2 remaining.
These gifts are going fast! Please donate today!
Marea Media specializes in creating film portraits that illuminate larger social issues through compelling profiles of individuals and communities. We believe documentary film is a dynamic, accessible visual medium that fosters important discussions about complex issues.
"Visible Silence" is a documentary film that explores the continuum of masculinity and femininity through identity and gender presentation. The film centers around a community of women striving for visibility, authenticity, and acceptance in a Buddhist society. It is the story of self and family, love and sexuality, and uniqueness where conformity is required.
Lead character Dr. Karun wrote her Ph.D dissertation for the University of San Francisco on tom/dee life (roughly equivalent to lesbian butch/femme) in Thailand. A Thai tom herself, she understands the issues intimately. Returning home, unable to work in academia because of her refusal to wear a dress and hide her true identity, she takes a job teaching English at a Thai silk factory. The unexpected result: love with the beautiful owner, character Khun Dta. Khun Dta, a divorced mother of three grown children, had never been in love with a woman before. Years prior, she left an abusive marriage and started a successful company, in itself quite unconventional.
We follow Dr. Karun and Khun Dta as they navigate this complex territory. They let us into their lives and minds with intimate access and candid discussions. We also explore the lives of several other fascinating women between the ages of 18-58: a nationally known lesbian feminist activist; a kid from a poor village made good; a trendy club kid, a beautiful actress, and a third generation elephant trainer. Hearing their voices and those of several others -- young, old, rich, poor, urban and rural -- the film provides the Thai and international audience a glimpse into the spirit that moves these women to step out of their expected roles and into more authentic lives.
This film will change lives. It could also save lives.
Here are our upcoming milestones:
- 1st step: $8,500 to create an assembly edit so we can see all our footage and begin to put it in order.
- 2nd step: $10,500 to make a final month long trip to Thailand to collect footage we need to complete the film.
- 3rd step: $17,000 to create a rough cut from all the material. At this stage, the film has taken shape.
We will dedicate all the money we raise toward moving the project forward, milestone by milestone, until we have completed the film.
What You Get
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VISIBLE SILENCE Team
Ruth Gumnit, M.F.A, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, is an award-winning filmmaker with four films and numerous film installations to her credit. Her films have screened internationally and she has been honored with an NEA/Rockefeller Interdisciplinary Artist Award, Grand Jury Best Documentary award from the Washington D. C. Independent Film Festival, Judges and Audience Awards from the San Diego Women's Film Festival, and Director's Citation Award from the Black Maria Film Festival. In 2006, Gumnit was named one of Film Arts Foundation's "Film Arts 30" and profiled in its November/December issue of Release Print magazine. Her last film, Don't Fence Me In: Major Mary and the Karen Refugees from Burma has screened worldwide in such diverse venues as HBO's Frame-By-Frame Festival, the Commonwealth Club of California and the World Affairs Council of Northern California. It has shown at dozens of prestigious film festivals, including: Canadian Film Centre's Worldwide Short Film Festival; Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, UT; Cracow International Film Festival, Poland; Hawaii International Festival; and, Frameline's San Francisco International LGBTI Film Festival. It has also been widely used as a public policy, fundraising, community building, and educational tool for refugee rights. Ruth is the Director, Cinematographer and Producer of Marea Media's current project, Visible Silence: Thai Tomboys and the Women who Love Them. She is also serving as Director of Photography for a marriage equality documentary (working title: By the Power Vested in Me) by filmmakers Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajko.
Marguerite Salmon, M.A., MFT, Producer, is a documentary producer, writer, and psychotherapist with extensive professional experience as a social activist and clinician working in the LGBT, HIV/AIDS, homeless, and women's communities. Salmon formally entered the documentary filmmaking world in 2001, as production assistant and promotion specialist on Ruth Gumnit's film Don't Fence Me In: Major Mary and the Karen Refugees from Burma, an award-winning documentary. She attended the Sundance Producers Conference with the project Visible Silence in 2006 (then entitled Tomboys and Ladies: Thai Gender Outlaws and the Women who Love Them) and co-founded Marea Media with Gumnit in 2007. Marguerite is a Producer on the film Visible Silence. She is also currently providing production assistance for a marriage equality documentary (working title: By the Power Vested in Me) by filmmakers Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajko of Critical Images.
Dr. Karun (name changed to protect her identity), Producer, is a scholar and educator who has lived in both Thailand and the U.S. A self-identified Thai tom, Dr. Karun will serve as producer as well as a film subject, consultant, and liaison for Visible Silence.For the past five years, she has worked as General Manager of a Bangkok-based manufacturing company owned by her life partner. Her decision to enter the business world stems from both her desire to assist her girlfriend and in response to sexist and homophobic discriminatory practices in the field of Thai academia. This project represents a return to an area of vital interest for Dr. Karun, who extensively researched this community for her 2001 Ph.D. from the University of San Francisco.
Gail Huddleson, MA, Editor, is a documentary editor and producer located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nominated for a National Emmy Award in 2010 for her work on "The Botany of Desire," she has edited numerous documentaries that have aired on PBS and The National Geographic Channel. She has also worked on KQED's acclaimed local science show "Quest", for which she received a Northern California Emmy Award in 2010. Her past credits on independent films includes Ruth Gumnit's previous work, "Don't Fence Me In," which has screened on television and at film festivals around the world. As a producer, Gail received the Guild Award in Documentary Film from the Princess Grace Foundation USA for her film "My Roots are Buried Here." She received a Master's degree from the Documentary Film and Video Program at Stanford University.
Philly Archa, M.A., Translator, Adviser and Thai Linguist, is a native of Thailand. She currently lives in San Francisco where she runs a Thai language school and teaches cooking (her great passion) at City College of San Francisco. She brings intelligence and cultural insight to the meaning behind the words.
Ellen Bruno, M.A., Adviser, is a world-reknown San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker whose work has focused on issues at the forefront of human rights. She is a past recipient of both Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships. Bruno's films have been awarded many prestigious prizes, among them a Special Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival, a student Academy Award; a student Emmy and the Edward R. Murrow Award. Her films include Samsara, Satya, Sacrifice, Leper and Sky Burial.
Madeleine Lim, Adviser, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP).
Trinity A. Ordona, Ph.D., Adviser, has a 40-year history of civil rights activism promoting grassroots organizing strategies linking international, national and local Asian and Pacific Islander lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in the U.S. with their counterparts around the world.