We know all too well the incessant, often pervasive nature of the fashion and marketing industry, but directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin take a look at an even more disturbing aspect of it: the underage modeling machine. Premiering at TIFF last year, one of the film’s subjects is 13-year-old Siberian model Nadya Vall, who is sent to Tokyo to launch a career in the industry.

We called it a “powerful” look inside this underbelly and the film even stirred up some controversy regarding the now 17-year-old Vall. As she went on to have a healthy modeling career, her current agency wants the film shelved due to her portrayal in the film. It looks like that clearly hasn’t happened as a limited release is kicking off next month. Check out the new trailer below, as well as a new poster, for what could be one of the most eye-opening documentaries of the year.


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 hits limited theaters on September 5th, 2012.

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