Last night, React to Film hosted screenings of A. Sabin and David Redmon’s new documentary Girl Model (POV 2012) at Soho House in New York City and Miami. The screenings, hosted by Nigel Barker of “America’s Next Top Model,” were geared toward the modeling industry, it’s models, designers, magazine editors and fashion press.
The screening in New York City was followed by an insightful Q&A with the directors and a model featured in the film, Rachel, who began modeling 10 years ago and is now 26.
Sabin and Redmon said they don’t see their documentary as an exposé but as a view into a global supply chain of young models and the scouts that find them.
Rachel, who’s modeled in Japan and is now based in the UK and Montreal, said that without proper support and guidance, young girls can be put into dangerous situations, such as casting calls at an apartment where they might be asked to go topless. The “mother agency,” the agency that discovers a girl, might also take advantage of a 12- or 13-year-old model’s lack of experience and sexually exploit them. Rachel sees Girl Model as an advocacy tool for establishing a model alliance, a union or industry group that can create international labor standards and protect all models.
Audience members asked questions such as “Are the subscribers of major fashion publications 13-year-old girls?” and “Why are we, as consumers, feeding this demand for younger models?,” questions that don’t have easy answers.
A. Sabin and David Redmon are headed to Austin, Texas, for the public premiere of Girl Model before returning for a New York City-area screening on March 20 at the Stranger Than Fiction series at IFC Center. Girl Model will have its broadcast premiere in 2012 as part of POV’s 25th anniversary season on PBS.
React to Film is a nonprofit organization that hosts a film series to expose an intimate audience of New York’s media elite to critical social issues. To find out more visit, reacttofilm.com.