Enigmatic Photographer Vivian Maier Gets Close-Up in Documentary

It’s Vivian Maier‘s moment. The enigmatic Chicago nanny-cum-master street photographer died in 2009 at the age of 87, leaving behind more than 100,000 photographs from a lifetime of shooting. Now her life and work are the subject of a cultural triple play, with an exhibition on view through December 14 at New York’s Howard Greenberg gallery that coincides with the publication of Vivian Maier: Self-Portraits (powerHouse), setting the stage for the November 17 U.S. premiere of Finding Vivian Maier at the DOC NYC film festival.

The documentary, directed and produced by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel (Bowling for Columbine, Religulous) with the help of Kickstarter backers, unravels the life of the now famous Maier as well as Maloof’s journey to piece together her past. Its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival generated not only buzz but a deal with Killer Films to develop the documentary into a narrative feature (we’re thinking Frances McDormand would make a great Viv).

“Vivian is one of those people that becomes mythical. Nobody has moving footage with dialogue out there. Nobody knows her that well,” Maloof told Indiewire recently. “There’s a lot of room for the imagination to create who she was. She was independent. She didn’t care about what people thought. Everybody wishes they could do that, but no one’s going to do it. No one has the drive to go that far. But she did.” Look for the film to hit theaters early next year. Here’s the trailer: