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Sundance Selects Takes Toronto Mystery Doc 'Finding Vivian Maier'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 30, 2013 at 3:33PM

On the heels of its inclusion in the Toronto International Film Festival documentary line-up, "Finding Vivian Maier" is going to Sundance Selects. The distributor has acquired U.S. rights to directors John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s feature doc, which they produced with executive producer Jeff Garlin. "Finding Vivian Maier" unearths the mysteries behind an undiscovered street photographer, who was a nanny in the wealthy North Shore suburbs of Chicago. Maier’s secret world is unraveled slowly through her photo collections and interviews with those who knew her.
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Vivian Maier
Vivian Maier

On the heels of its inclusion in the Toronto International Film Festival documentary line-up, "Finding Vivian Maier" is going to Sundance Selects. The distributor has acquired U.S. rights to directors John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s feature doc, which they produced with executive producer Jeff Garlin. 

Young filmmaker Maloof, 31, teamed up with amateur historian and film producer Siskel ("Bowling for Columbine," "Religulous"), who acquired an historic box of photos at a storage auction. "He was fascinated by the quality of the photos," says TIFF programmer Thom Powers, "and in his sleuthing found the woman who took them and uncovers one of the most extraordinary collections of street photography by a then unknown photographer."

"Finding Vivian Maier"unearths the mysteries behind this woman, who was a nanny in the wealthy North Shore suburbs of Chicago. Maier’s secret world is unraveled slowly through her photo collections and interviews with those who knew her, from the  parents who hired her and the children she cared for to store owners, movie theater operators, and neighbors. 

“John Maloof and Charlie Siskel have crafted a spellbinding mystery and an extraordinary true story of a fascinating artist," stated President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films Jonathan Sehring. "We look forward to working with them as we take this film to audiences.”

This article is related to: Toronto International Film Festival, Documentary, Festivals, IFC Films, Sundance Selects


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.