Next weekend sees the launch of ACMI’s Fashion Models on Film, a selection of features running as part of the 2011 L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s cultural program. Its line-up opens with Picture Me: A Model’s Diary, a documentary following American model Sara Ziff as she makes her rise to the top of the modelling world.

Directed by Ziff and her former boyfriend, Ole Schell, Picture Me began life as a series of home videos shot over the several years coinciding with Ziff’s growing stature as a model. Following positive reaction to the rough footage, however, Ziff and Schell decided to expand and frame the raw material by adding interviews with fellow models, designers and other fashion industry insiders. The end result is a mostly engrossing warts-and-all look at the unregulated modelling industry from New York to Paris to Milan.

For her part, the intelligent and articulate Ziff makes an adept guide through the sometimes murky waters of modelling without shying away from the seedier, exploitative side of the industry. Picture Me manages to capture a life lived within the perceived glamour of the fashion industry while exploring the repercussions of a career founded purely on outward bodily appearance.

Picture Me: A Model’s Diary has four screenings at ACMI between March 5 and 15.

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