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.
Marea Media was co-founded in 2007 by filmmaker Ruth Gumnit and writer/producer/psychotherapist Marguerite Salmon.
Ruth Gumnit, M.F.A, 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: Stories from 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, 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 and Writer for 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.
Our current project, Visible Silence: Stories from Thai Tomboys and the Women who Love Them explores the interplay of race, sexuality, gender, faith, and culture.
VISIBLE SILENCE project — additional principals
Karun, Ph.D. (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.
Ellen Bruno, M.A., Advisor, 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.
Philly Archa, M.A., Associate Producer, Translator 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.
Justine Armen, Social Media Coordinator, graduated from Seattle University in 2011 with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Film Studies. Justine is pursuing a career in filmmaking. She has interned at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
VISIBLE SILENCE project — Advisory Board
Madeleine Lim is the Founder and Executive Director of the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP).
Trinity A. Ordona, Ph.D., 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.
Ellen Bruno is an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
Marea Media — Advisory Team
Rob Kelly is an internet CEO and business advisor.
Carole Jeung is a painter, printmaker and graphic designer.