World Premiere


| USA | 85 MINUTES | English
Female Director(s), Documentary

Sexual exploitation of children is a problem that we tend to relegate to back-alley brothels in developing countries, the province of a particularly inhuman, and invariably foreign, criminal element. Such is the initial premise of Libby Spears' sensitive investigation into the topic. But she quickly concludes that very little thrives on this planet without American capital, and the commercial child sex industry is certainly thriving. Spears intelligently traces the epidemic to its disparate, and decidedly domestic, roots—among them the way children are educated about sex, and the problem of raising awareness about a crime that inherently cannot be shown. Her cultural observations are couched in an ongoing mystery story: the search for Michelle, an everyday American girl lost to the underbelly of childhood sexual exploitation who has yet to resurface a decade later.

Executive produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Steven Soderbergh, and punctuated with poignant animation by Japanese pop artist Yoshitomo Nara, Playground illuminates a sinister industry of unrecognized pervasiveness. Spears has crafted a comprehensive revelation of an unknown epidemic, essential viewing for any parent or engaged citizen.

Cast & Credits
Directed by
Libby Spears

Libby Spears conceived of the idea for Playground in 2001 while producing a film in the Philippines and Central America about women's sexual self-image. She founded the Nest Foundation in 2004 to create a platform for local and global awareness and produced and directed PSAs for PSI in Nepal on water and sanitation, and IOM in Indonesia, on human trafficking and the aftermath of the tsunami. Libby directed the short film Foreplay and produced Rules of Love and Christopher Walken's Popcorn Shrimp. As director of development for various New York independent production companies, she was involved with Shooting Vegetarians, Dear Jesse, Spring Forward, and Pagans.

Original Artwork
Yoshitomo Nara
Associate Producer
Julia Ormond
Libby Spears
Executive Producers
Grant Heslov, George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh, Abigail Disney, Gayle Embrey, Lauren Embrey

Print Source
Aaron Goddard
Evolve Post
1522 Cloverfield Boulevard, Ste. C Santa Monica, CA 90405
Phone: 310 828 1444
Press Contact
Ava Rollins
Art Observed
38 Orchard Street, Ste. 2C New York, NY 10002
Phone: 917 539 6996
Main Contact
Libby Spears
Bluprint Films
5482 Wilshire Boulevard, #147 Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: 646 773 6413
* Rush Tickets available at venue except for
Beacon Theatre
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The Rush system functions as a standby line that will form at the venue approximately one hour prior to scheduled start time. Admittance is based on availability and will begin roughly 10 minutes prior to program start time. Rush Tickets are the same price as advance tickets and are payable upon entry.


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