Filmmaker Martin Bell and photographer Mary Ellen Mark are launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund a film of the life of Tiny–the star of Streetwise, Martin’s 1984 Academy Award-nominated documentary.
Streetwise opened a generation’s eyes to the loneliness and dangers of teenage homelessness and sexual exploitation. Tiny instantly became a cult figure and as a result was offered several opportunities to escape her street life, but as destiny would play out, she remained in Seattle.
Over the years, Mary Ellen and Martin have remained close to Tiny, photographing and filming several events in her life. It’s rare for a filmmaker and photographer to have such an intimate relationship with a subject over decades. In fact, Mary Ellen and Martin were there for many of Tiny’s touchstones in life, including the labor and birth of Daylon, her first-born child.
Thirty years have passed since Streetwise and Tiny now has ten children, ranging in age from 5 to 27 and is a grandmother. The filmmakers feel it is imperative to return and shoot a film which captures Tiny and her family’s life today.
The film will show Tiny’s daily struggles as a mother of ten. Life remains a battle for Tiny, but somehow she faces it with resolve and always manages to survive.
The Kickstarter campaign kicks off on Wednesday, November 20 and will close on December 20. It will help to cover the cost of making this film.
In 2015, Aperture, a fine art book publisher will release a new edition of Streetwise, the internationally renowned and celebrated book, updated with previously unpublished photographs of Tiny and her tribe from visits over the past 30 years.
Tiny, Seattle 1983
©Mary Ellen Mark
Martin Bell & Mary Ellen Mark, New York City 2002
©Jeanette Montgomery Barron