About Us

Astrea Media is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating innovative film and interactive multi-platform media projects about human rights issues that generate positive social change. Since our founding in 2000, we have created award-winning interdisciplinary work that exposes the ways in which our culture conceals and normalizes violence and injustice.  Our projects have positively impacted the public sphere, government action, and people’s sex lives. 

 

Our documentaries have screened at over a hundred film festivals, been used by hundreds of organizations and universities as an educational tool, and streamed online on the Sundance Now, Fandor, Vimeo, and Netflix globally.  They've been theatrically released and broadcast on cable and public television stations in many countries.

The Team

Liz Canner, Director

Liz Canner is an award-winning filmmaker, artist, and writer who has created many documentaries and interactive media projects intended to inspire positive social change.  She often employs cutting edge technologies to explore human rights issues from a new perspective. Symphonyofacity.org, about the housing crisis in Boston, was an early multi-platform interactive documentary.  Her film Deadly Embrace was one of the first films to investigate the impact of structural adjustment and globalization.  It was broadcast internationally and used by over a thousand organizations worldwide as an organizing tool.  Orgasm Inc., a New York Times “Critic's Pick” about the search for the female Viagra drug, screened at over 70 film festivals, was theatrically released in 42 cities, broadcast on television in 12 countries, and streamed on Sundance Now, Fandor, Vimeo, and Netflix globally (“Most Popular” in the Critically Acclaimed section in 2012). A graduate of Brown University with Honors in both Visual Arts and Anthropology, she received over 60 awards and grants for her work including a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship from Harvard University, a Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant and the Dartmouth College Visionary Award.  Her documentaries broadcast on television on PBS stations, cable, and internationally in many countries. Her media art projects have shown at museums and galleries including Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the California Museum of Photography.  She has given over 150 talks about her work at universities, museums and screening venues.  Committed to helping other independent filmmakers, she served on the board of directors of The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, the Boston Film and Video Foundation, Boston Cyberarts and White River Indie Films.

Sam Knowles, Associate Producer

Sam Knowles began working at Astrea Media as an intern on Orgasm Inc.   She demonstrated her fabulous organizing and people skills and is now the Associate Producer of Silent U., our current project. Sam is an award-winning Brooklyn-based filmmaker who has directed and produced numerous short documentaries and videos.  Her most recent film, Why Do You Have Black Dolls?, won the Spirit Award at the Reel Sisters Film Festival, earned a NY City Council Citation, and won the Audience Choice Award at the Women, Action, & the Media (WAM) Film Festival.  She graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Film Studies and Psychology.

Josh Bertsche, Web Designer and Guru

Josh began as an intern at Astrea Media where he demonstrated strong ability in design and animation. He is now the web designer of this site.

Robert Bertsche, Legal Counsel

Robert Bertsche has been our brilliant legal advisor and friend since 2000 when he worked with us on Symphony of A City. He is a 1989 graduate (magna cum laude) of Harvard Law School and a member in good standing of the bars of: the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania; the State of New York; the First, Second, and Third Circuit Court of Appeals; and the United States Supreme Court.  He is a partner and head of the Media and Intellectual Property Group at the Boston law firm of Prince, Lobel, Tye LLP, where he has practiced since 2003. He has an AV rating (the highest possible rating) from Martindale-Hubbell, and has been designated among the “Best Lawyers in America” in the fields of First Amendment Law, Litigation - First Amendment, and Media Law categories (2005-present), and as a “Super Lawyer®” by the journal Law and Politics since at least 2004. For more than 20 years, he has authored the annual survey of First Circuit libel law published by the New York-based Media Law Resource Center. He also writes the outline of Massachusetts public access law published by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Board of Directors

Past and Present:


Liz Canner

Filmmaker


Carl Canner

CEO, Carvers' Guild


Robert Kallen

Founder, RSK Strategies, LLC


Louisa Kasdon

Writer


David Kluft

Partner, Foley Hoag LLP


Karen Moss

Artist


Alan Solomont
(former board member)

Former United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee in 1997, Chairman and CEO of Solomont Bailis Ventures


Funding

A special thank you to our funders:

Anne Slade Frey Charitable Trust

Alan & Susan Lewis Solomont Family Foundation

Boston Cultural Council

Chicken and Egg Pictures

Fledgling Fund

Green Valley Media

International Documentary Association Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund

Kargman Charitable & Education Fund

LEF Foundation, Moving Image Fund

Massachusetts Foundation For the Humanities

McColl Center for Visual Art

Nation Investigative Journalism Fund

New England Foundation for the Arts

Paved Art and New Media

Peter S. Reed Foundation

Potero Nuevo Fund

Radcliffe Institute For Advanced Study, Harvard University

 Rockefeller Foundation

Tomfohrde Foundation

Virginia Commission For the Arts

Numerous generous individuals donors

Press

(abridged list)

"Recovery, In Another's Eyes: Oral Histories, Tiny Cameras, Microphones Chronicle the Healing Process"

The Washington Post

"Moving Visions Premieres in Arlington, VA"

Rhizome Blog

"Review: The Link Between Female Sexuality and Corporate Profits"

The New York Times

"Review: Orgasm Inc."

Variety

"In Quest For A Female Viagra, Many An Odd Twist"

NPR

"Big Pharma's Hunt for the Big O"

The Globe and Mail

"Big Pharma Racing to Create ‘Female Viagra’"

MSNBC Interview with Dylan Ratigan

"Orgasm Inc."

The Leonard Lopate Show, NPR

"Review: Orgasm Inc. Probes Pleasure Profiteering"

Wired Magazine

"Another 12 Mind-Blowing Documentaries To Watch On Netflix"

The Huffington Post

"27 Gripping Documentaries That Are All Essential Viewing"

The Independent

Savage Lovecast: EPISODE 451, Season 19

Dan Savage: Savage Lovecast

"Health: The Pleasure Principle"

Vogue

"Live Chat with Elizabeth Canner About Orgasm Inc"

The London Times

"Female 'Desire Drug' a Real Turnoff"

The Toronto Star

"Looking for the ‘Little Pink Pill’"

PBS Thirteen

"'Female Viagra' to be Discussed by US Food and Drug Administration"

BBC World Service

"Can a Pill Help Women Reach Orgasm?"

Newsweek

"Warning: Orgasm, Inc. Will Leave You Hot and Bothered"

Time Magazine

"The Hunt for Female Viagra: Drug Giants Have Spent Millions on the Search to Boost Women's Sex Lives... But Do We Really Need It?"

The Daily Mail

"The Race to Discover Viagra for Women"

The Guardian

"Orgasm Inc.: The Flawed Quest for a 'Female Viagra'"

Salon.com

"Orgasm Inc. – Film Review"

Hollywood Reporter

"Smile, You're on Cyberarts: Video Diarists Share Their World for a Day"

Boston Sunday Globe

"Day in the Life"

New England Film Magazine

"Groton History Comes to the iPod"

The Boston Globe

"Outside the Box: Spasm Festival Takes Art to the Streets"

Planet S Magazine

"Day In The Life: Video Project Takes First Person View of Saskatoon's Racial Divide"

Planet S Magazine

"An Ex-Dartmouth Student Is Trying Bury His Rape Case, But A Documentarian Is Winning"

The Huffington Post

"symphonyofacity.org"

The Independent

"Boston Pops"

Art News Magazine

"Symphony of a City"

Art Byte Magazine

"Video Review: 'Symphony of a City'"

Z Magazine

"Symphony of a City"

Neural Magazine

"Head Shots"

The Phoenix

"Days in the Life of a City Councilor to Highlight 'Symphony of a City'"

Boston Globe

"Visible Republic To Present Major Public Art Work, Symphony Of A City, In Boston"

New England Foundation for the Arts

"Symphony of a City"

WGBH Greater Boston Arts

"Would You Take Female Viagra?"

The New York Post

"Do Nearly Half of Us Suffer Female Sexual Dysfunction?"

Marie Claire

"10 Filmmakers to Watch In 2009"

The Independent

"Woman Donates Her Orgasm To Science"

Jezebel

"Orgasm Inc. Set For Wide Release!"

Bust Magazine

"Orgasm Inc.: I Can't Wait to See This Documentary All About…Orgasms!"

Glamour Magazine

"Check Out the Documentary Orgasm, Inc."

The Huffington Post

"After Case Annulled, Privacy and Right to Know in Conflict"

The Valley News

"Editorial: Privacy Vs. Public Right to Know"

The Valley News

"N.H. Court Rules Some Records Can Remain in Annulled Cases"

The Valley News

"Know your past to chart your future: three successful projects in Boston’s history"

Now and There