Very Young Girls (2007)

Rachel Lloyd | Co-Executive Producer

Rachel Lloyd is the founder and Executive Director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), the only nonprofit in New York state serving domestically trafficked youth and commercially sexually exploited girls and young women. Under Ms. Lloyd’s leadership, GEMS annually serves more than 300 girls through its direct services and 1,000 youth through education and outreach. Ms. Lloyd is a nationally recognized advocate and expert on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children, actively involved in the effort to pass legislation to protect this population in addition to speaking at events and conferences across the nation. Ms. Lloyd has been honored with the Reebok Human Rights Award and the Frederick Douglas Award from the North Star Fund, among others. Ms. Lloyd received her Bachelors in Psychology from Marymount Manhattan College and her Masters in Applied Urban Anthropology from the City College of New York.

David Schisgall | Producer and Director

David Schisgall has been producing and directing long-form nonfiction for the past fifteen years. David began his career working for documentarian Errol Morris, assisting on A Brief History of Time (1991), Fast Cheap and Out of Control (1997), and Mr. Death (1999), and producing Errol’s television series for Bravo, First Person (2000). In addition to producing and directing Very Young Girls, a documentary about commercially sexually exploited girls in New York City, for Showtime, Schisgall is also produced Operation Filmmaker for ITVS and BBC’s Storyville. Operation Filmmaker follows an Iraqi film student as he is brought to the west by Liev Shreiber. Both films had their world premiere at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival.  In October 2005, David was honored with the Edward R. Murrow award for Best News Documentary of 2004. He received the award for his program on young Americans and Iraqis at war, True Life: I’m in Iraq, which aired on MTV and around the world. It was the first time in its fifty-year history that the award was given to a network other than HBO, CNN, PBS, or the original three broadcast networks. The film was also chosen as one of the best television documentaries of the year by the Museum of Film and Television.  The Iraq work followed another hour for MTV, True Life: I Live in the Terror Zone, about young Israelis and Palestinians on the West Bank. The program was honored by Senator Edward Kennedy at the Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award, given by the Arab-American Institute, and was the only non-Israeli film about the Israel/Palestine conflict shown at Israel’s national festival, the Jerusalem Film Festival.  In 2006, David developed the radio show This American Life into a television series for Showtime. He also created and directed a pilot for MTV about young people in war zones for MTV. David lives in New York City with his wife Evgenia Peretz, their four-year-old son Elias, and infant daughter Daphne.

Priya Swaminathan | Co-Director and Producer

After graduating from Columbia University in 2003, Priya Swaminathan began developing and associate-producing projects with David Schisgall that took her from mental hospitals in America to the tsunami-ravaged Sri Lankan coastline to the homes of former child soldiers in Colombia. She currently lives in Los Angeles and works as the Director of Development at Spike Jonze, Jeff Tremaine, and Johnny Knoxville’s production company.

Nina Alvarez | Co-Director and Producer

Nina Alvarez worked with David and Priya as producer on Crisis, a series for MTV about young people in war zones. In 2005, Nina was awarded the Johns Hopkins University/Gates Foundation International Reporting Fellowship, during which she shot in Nigeria for a documentary about women’s lack of access to safe births. Nina won Emmy and Imagen awards during fifteen years of producing news and documentaries for such outlets as ABC News, Nightline, NBC News, Univision, and National Public Radio, during which she reported from Iraq, Palestine, Cuba, Colombia, El Salvador, and countries in Africa. She directed and shot Head to Head, a five-part documentary series about competition in the US, for the Discovery Channel.