GIRL MODEL begins in snowy and icy Siberia. Dozens of young girls stand in a room full of mirrors in their bikinis and heels, having their pictures taken by scouts. Nadya, a blonde 13-year-old from the Siberian countryside who exudes innocence, is one of those girls. In that same room we are also introduced to Ashley, an American model scout (and ex-model herself) looking for a “fresh face” for the Japanese market.
With the promise of a profitable career in modeling and the hope of rescuing her family from financial troubles, Nadya travels to Japan alone to start her new life. We follow Ashley as she travels the world to other scouting venues, recounting stories from her career. Though they only meet once again later in the film, their journeys are tautly bound and hauntingly told as Nadya realizes, and Ashley unveils, the harsh realities of the industry: the focus on youth and age, the perceptions and illusions they an others invent for themselves, the unflattering definition of beauty, and the lies others tell to make money.
Redmon and Sabin allow their subjects to reveal the truth with subtlety, artistically revealing a world that distorts as we dive deeper into it. GIRL MODEL is a documentary that gives us a rare glimpse inside the world of modeling that we can no longer ignore and must try to change.
David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s interest is in nonfiction documentary storytelling. They have produced, directed, edited, and photographed five films: MARDI GRAS: MADE IN CHINA, KAMP KATRINA, INTIMIDAD, INVISIBLE GIRLFRIEND, and GIRL MODEL.