Documentary Film: Finding Vivian Maier

This intriguing documentary shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers.


Vivian Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American street photographer born in New York City. Although born in the U.S., it was in France that Maier spent most of her youth. Maier returned to the U.S. in 1951 where she took up work as a nanny and care-giver for the rest of her life. In her leisure however, Maier had begun to venture into the art of photography. Consistently taking photos over the course of five decades, she would ultimately leave over 100,000 negatives, most of them shot in Chicago and New York City. Vivian would further indulge in her passionate devotion to documenting the world around her through homemade films, recordings and collections, assembling one of the most fascinating windows into American life in the second half of the twentieth century.

In Finding Vivian Maier, Maloof teams with producer Charlie Siskel to uncover this mystery. Following clues, they trace Maier’s history through New York City, France, and Chicago. Maier was an inveterate wanderer and self-taught photographer, favouring a Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera, with an uncanny ability to get close to people from all walks of life. Her artful and comic eye calls to mind the photography of Berenice Abbott and Weegee. Thanks to Maloof’s efforts, critics and galleries have now rallied behind Maier’s work, and The New York Times recognized her as “one of America’s more insightful street photographers.”

But as Maloof meets people who knew Vivian, new questions arise about her life and work. The families who employed her as a nanny have mixed memories, and hint at her dark side. Would she have even wanted this attention? Answering that question depends on how you interpret different bits of evidence. Regardless, it’s a wonder to behold the world through Vivan Maier’s eyes.

Official Finding Vivian Maier Website

Director Biographies

john_maloof_portraitJohn Maloof

John Maloof is a filmmaker, photographer and historian. He is the chief curator of Vivian Maier’s work and editor of the book Vivian Maier: Street Photographer. Finding Vivian Maier is his directorial debut.



charlie_siskel_portraitCharlie Siskel

Charlie Siskel is a television and film producer. His producing credits include the Academy Award-winning Bowling for Columbine, and Religulous, both of which screened at the Festival. Finding Vivian Maier is his directorial debut.

Film Screenings

More film screenings will be added soon. Please check back for an updated list.

US Dates:

Starts Playing
03/28/2014 ‒ Now PlayingIFC CenterNew York, NY
04/04/2014 ‒ Now PlayingRenaissance PlaceChicago, IL
04/04/2014 ‒ Now PlayingPlayhousePasadena, CA
04/04/2014 ‒ Now PlayingCentury CentreChicago, IL
4/11/2014 ‒ Now PlayingShattuckBerkeley, CA
4/11/2014 ‒ Now PlayingSag HarborSag Harbor, NY
4/25/2014 ‒ Now PlayingCinema 21Portland, OR
4/25/2014 ‒ Now PlayingCCASanta Fe, NM
4/25/2014 ‒ Now PlayingGateway Film CenterColumbus, OH
4/25/2014 ‒ Now PlayingMonicaSanta Monica, CA
4/25/2014 ‒ Now PlayingSundance SunsetLos Angeles, CA
5/01/2014 ‒ Now PlayingZoetropolisLancaster, PA
5/02/2014 ‒ Now PlayingNickelodeonPortland, ME
5/02/2014 ‒ Now PlayingAthenaAthens, OH
5/02/2014 ‒ Now PlayingCinemapolisIthaca, NY
5/02/2014 ‒ Now PlayingLiving RoomBoca Raton, FL
5/02/2014 ‒ Now PlayingMartha's Vineyard Film CenterVineyard Haven, MA
5/02/2014 ‒ Now PlayingSheaScottsdale, AZ
5/02/2014 ‒ Now PlayingMagic LanternSpokane, WA
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingO Cinema WynwoodWynwood, FL
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingVarsityAshland, OR
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingLoftTucson, AZ
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingMiami Beach CinemathequeMiami, FL
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingCarouselGreensboro, NC
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingApertureWinston-Salem, NC
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingLyricFt. Collins, CO
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingRagtagColumbia, MO
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingReal Art WaysHartford, CT
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingFt. Wayne Cinema CenterFt. Wayne, IN
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingHippodromeGainesville, FL
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingMarket StreetLittle Rock, AR
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingTin PanBend, OR
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingMyrna LoyHelena, MT
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingSalemSalem, OR
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingKigginsVancouver, WA
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingMartha's Vineyard Film CenterVineyard Haven, MA
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingSIE FilmCenterDenver, CA
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingVarsity Seattle, WA
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingPageantChico, CA
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingBijou MetroEugene, OR
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingLoganChicago, IL
5/09/2014 ‒ Now PlayingSavoyMontpelier, VT
5/10/2014 ‒ Now PlayingStateModesto, CA
5/12/2014 ‒ Now PlayingBear ToothAnchorage, AK
5/14/2014 ‒ Now PlayingMunsonUtica, NY
5/15/2014 ‒ Now PlayingRetro CinemaMadison, GA
5/16/2014 ‒ Now PlayingMichiganAnn Arbor, MI
5/16/2014 ‒ Now PlayingACME Screening RoomLambertville, NJ
5/16/2014 ‒ Now PlayingTowngateWheeling, WV
5/16/2014 ‒ Now PlayingRoseburg CinemasRoseburg, OR
5/16/2014 ‒ Now PlayingSEEfilmBremerton, WA
5/16/2014 ‒ Now PlayingGulf Breeze 4Gulf Breeze, FL
5/16/2014 ‒ Now PlayingLittle ArtYellow Springs, OH
5/18/2014 ‒ Now PlayingTaos Center For The ArtsTaos, NM
5/20/2014 ‒ Now PlayingReel PizzaBar Harbor, ME
5/20/2014 ‒ Now PlayingTheatre N.Wilmington, DE
5/22/2014 ‒Rolling Hills 20Torrance, CA
5/22/2014 ‒LakeIndian Lake, NY
5/23/2014 ‒Mos'ArtLake Park, FL
5/23/2014 ‒Picture HousePelham, NY
5/25/2014 ‒CinematiqueDaytona Beach, FL
5/26/2014 ‒Center For The ArtsBeaufort, SC
5/27/2014 ‒Ventura Film SocietyVentura, CA
5/27/2014 ‒Frontier CaféBrunswick, ME
5/28/2014 ‒Smith Opera HouseGeneva, NY
5/29/2014 ‒Honolulu Museum Of ArtHonolulu, HI
5/30/2014 ‒Plaza De OroSanta Barbara, CA
6/2/2014 ‒Thalian HallWilmington, NC
6/4/2014 ‒HamiltonHamilton, NY
6/6/2014 ‒CampusLewisburg, PA
6/6/2014 ‒BijouSan Antonio, TX
6/6/2014 ‒CatamountSt. Johnsbury, VT
6/12/2014 ‒Memphis Brooks MuseumMemphis, TN
6/13/2014 ‒FountainMesilla, NM
6/23/2014 ‒TivoliDowners Grove, IL
7/9/2014 ‒Jacob Burns Film Center         Pleasantville, NY
7/31/2014 ‒Canton Palace TheatreCanton, OH
8/1/2014 ‒NuggetHanover, NH


Starts Playing
3/28/2014TIFF Bell LightboxToronto, ON
3/28/2014Vancity TheatreVancouver, BC
3/28/2014Westdate TheatreHamilton, ON
3/28/2014Carbon Arc CinemaHalifax, NS
4/2/2014CinecentaVictoria, BC
4/2/2014Shuswap Film SocietySalmon Arm, BC
4/7/2014Bookshelf CinemaGuelph, ON
4/8/2014King's Theatre Film Society - Film CirucitAnnapolis Royal, NS
4/16/2014Milton FIlm ForumMilton, ON
4/17/2014Winnipeg CinemathequeWinnipeg, MB
4/17/2014Metro CinemaEdmonton, AB
4/17/2014Reel Performances, Film CircuitFort McMurray, AB
4/24/2014Regina Public Library Film TheatreRegina, SK
4/25/2014Globe CinemaCalgary, AB
4/27/2014Available Light CinemaWhitehorse, YT
5/2/2014Bytowne CinemaOttawa, ON
5/23/2014Kiwanis Club of Forest Film Festival - Film CircuitForest, ON