Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 7 p.m. – Filmmaker Q&A Follows Free Screening
Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions. Girl Model follows two protagonists involved in this industry: Ashley, a deeply ambivalent model scout who scours the Siberian countryside looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a 13-year-old plucked from her rustic home in Russia and dropped into the center of bustling Tokyo with promises of a profitable career. After Ashley’s initial discovery of Nadya, they rarely meet again, but their stories are inextricably bound. As Nadya’s optimism about rescuing her family from financial hardship grows, her dreams contrast against Ashley’s more jaded outlook about the industry’s corrosive influence.
Girl Model is a lyrical exploration of a world defined by glass surfaces and camera lenses, reflecting back differing versions of reality to the young women caught in their scope. As we enter further into this world, it more and more resembles a hall of mirrors, where appearances can’t be trusted, perception become distorted and there is no clear way out. Will Nadya, and the other girls like her, be able to find anyone to help them navigate this maze, or will they follow a path like Ashley’s, having learned the tricks of the labyrinth but unable to escape its lure? Indeed, it’s difficult to know who these young girls can trust and where the industry will take them.
David Redmon and Ashley Sabin have produced, directed, edited and photographed five feature documentaries: Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005), Kamp Katrina (2007), Intimidad (2008), Invisible Girlfriend (2009), Girl Model (2011), and Downeast (2012). They have built a loyal following for their intimate and intricately crafted documentaries, won a variety of film festival awards and have seen all of their work aired on television stations throughout the world. Redmon received his PhD in sociology from the University at Albany, State University of New York. In 2010/2011 he was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. Sabin received her BA in Art History from Pratt Institute.