First Run Nabs U.S. Rights to
Plans Summer Theatrical Release
First Run Features announces today its acquisition of U.S. theatrical, home video and VOD rights to David Redmon and Ashley Sabin's acclaimed documentary Girl Model. First Run plans a summer theatrical release, followed by a fall DVD and VOD release to coincide with the film's broadcast premiere on PBS's POV series.
Told through the eyes of a 13-year-old Siberian girl and the American scout who discovered her, Girl Model follows a complex global supply chain of young girls sent abroad to seek their fortunes in the unregulated and often murky world of the modeling industry.
Just released in UK theatres by Dogwoof, Girl Model has garnered strong audiences and overwhelming critical acclaim for both its provocative subject matter and its realistic portrayal of what many think is a glamorous profession.
Girl Model follows two protagonists involved in the modeling industry: Ashley, a 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 with 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 becomes 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?
Girl Model received funding through the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, Cinereach, Puffin Foundation, Harvard Radcliffe Institute, IFP, Chicken and Egg Pictures, and The Fledgling Fund.
David Redmon and Ashley Sabin have produced, directed, edited and photographed six feature documentaries: Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005), Kamp Katrina (2007), Intimidad (2008), Invisible Girlfriend (2009), Girl Model (2011) and Downeast (2012). Their intimate and intricately crafted documentaries have won a variety of film festival awards, and their work has aired on television stations throughout the world. Redmon received his Ph.D 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.
"We're delighted and thrilled to work with First Run," said Redmond and Sabin. "It is an established, hard-working company with an excellent reputation for distributing a wide range of successful movies in numerous outlets."
"It's an honor to be working with Ashley and David on their mesmerizing, unforgettable film," said First Run's VP Marc Mauceri. "I'm guessing it's going to be a shock to anyone who follows the fashion and modeling industry. And hopefully what it reveals will help change things."
Founded in 1979, First Run Features is one of America's notable distributors of documentary and foreign films. Recent releases include Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey's Eames: The Architect and the Painter, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus's Kings of Pastry, Ken Bowser's Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune, Joe Berlinger's Crude, and Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith's Academy Award-nominated The Most Dangerous Man in America, Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.