Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell

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USA | 2016 | 86 minutes | Martin Bell

In the follow-up to Streetwise, the 1984 Academy Award®-nominated film about Seattle's homeless youth, director Martin Bell and photographer Mary Ellen Mark revisit the film's main character, Tiny, now a struggling mother of 10.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

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4:00 PM Date has passed SOn Standby Director Martin Bell scheduled to attend

Monday, May 30, 2016

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  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

11:00 AM Date has passed SOn Standby Director Martin Bell scheduled to attend

Street photographer Mary Ellen Mark has immortalized countless anonymous people through her unsentimental yet empathetic black-and-white portraits of life on the margins of society. But amid Mark's kaleidoscope of images from bordellos, circuses, hospital wards, and halfway houses, one person who stood out was Erin "Tiny" Blackwell, a 13-year-old homeless prostitute surviving on the almost-unrecognizable streets of a pre-tech-boom Seattle in 1983. Mark discovered Blackwell while on assignment for "Life" magazine, and the two almost instantly formed a bond. Mark's images of "Tiny" and her young friends growing up too fast seemed to capture the vulnerability, strength, and determination of America's wayward teens, leading to an Oscar®-nominated documentary called Streetwise (1984) directed by Mark's husband, Martin Bell. But the story did not end there. Mark kept in close contact with Blackwell as she grew into adulthood and wrestled with the demons of alcohol and drug addiction while raising her family of 10 children, some of whom appear to be heading down the same rocky path their mother trod. The intimate access that Blackwell granted Mark has been distilled into Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell, a powerful documentary about the symbiotic 30-year relationship between the two women, which lasted until Mark's death in May 2015 at age 75. Directed again by Bell, Mark's final work of art is a wrenching tale chronicling Blackwell's hard journey from poverty to prostitution to addiction to—finally—stability.

Director Biography
Director Martin Bell and photographer Mary Ellen Mark (1940–2015) worked in partnership for 32 years, creating film and photobook collaborations together. For this documentary, Bell and Mark decided to take another look at Erin Blackwell, the subject of their 1984 film Streetwise.

Sponsored by 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Washington State Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, CityArts, Seattle Weekly, The Seattle Times

  • Director: Martin Bell
  • Principal Cast: Erin Blackwell, Mary Ellen Mark
  • Premiere Status: World Premiere
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 86 minutes
  • Producer: Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Mark
  • Cinematographers: Martin Bell
  • Editors: Martin Bell
  • Music: Glenn H. Patscha
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: American Heart (1992); Streetwise (doc, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: The Film Sales Company