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First Run Grabs U.S. Rights to Girl Model Doc; Plans Summer Theatrical Release

March 13, 2012 BelowTheLine, Press Releases No Comments
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First Run Features announces 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.




Edoardo Ballerini is an actor and a writer. He has appeared in over forty films and television series, including Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos and the indie hit Dinner Rush. He was last seen on Theater Row in New York in “Honey Brown Eyes.”You can reach Edoardo on Facebook or Twitter

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In the span of two hours I was referred to as a “semi-celebrity,” and had a woman write me asking “Who are you?” (Why she bothered to write is entirely a mystery, but hey…) Still, it did illustrate the murky waters of notoriety actors can swim in. Somewhere circling amongst the “A-listers,” the “has beens,” and the “never should have beens” are the “aren’t you?… no, never minds.”

Between the Taping and the Viewing…

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In the acting life, there is also a falling shadow, and it comes between the gig and the screening. Between the filming and the airing… Theater is different, of course, but for now let’s stick to the world of screens. After you walk off set for the last day, there’s a good chance you won’t see your work for months, if not even years, or if ever.

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The Emerging Skills Needed by #Film Publicists

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The Mindset Change of Social Media

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I was recently interviewed for a blog and was asked about using social media for marketing a film. It really got me thinking about that question. Is that all most filmmakers see social media being used for? One big promotional effort only to be used when they are looking to sell something? I think within 10 years this will be a non issue as everyone will be adapted to social media. Those who have refused to start will be so left out it will be like the people who held out on rotary phones and terrestrial TV signals.

Using #Pinterest as a tool for your #Film #Marketing

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Speaking of Pinterest…I only recently started using it for the Joffrey project which is why all of my boards are devoted to that. Looking at them gives a good idea on the kind of thing you could use it for on your production. In my workshop presentations, I talk about posting regularly on your social channels and not just information directly about your film, but also about the interests of your audience; those who would be a fan of your film and of yourself as an artist. I am using the boards to show Joffrey history through pictures and videos. The ballets they created, the ballets they revived, their alumni dancers, Robert Joffrey through the years as well as photos of the merchandise available to buy through our site. It’s a balance of audience interest and promotion for the film.

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