Mary Engel

Filmmaker and archivist whose parents collaborated on the film Little Fugitive in Coney Island

Mary Engel is an award winning filmmaker and runs the Orkin/Engel Film and Photo Archive. She is the daughter of Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin, who co-wrote and directed Little Fugitive, which was filmed in Coney Island and released in 1953. The independent film was awarded the Silver Lion at the Venice International Film Festival and nominated for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story, at the 26th Academy Awards. 

Engel grew up steeped in this world of filmmaking and photography and it seems natural that she would become a filmmaker and an archivist of her parents' work. She talks about her childhood memories, her parents' lives and work, and her work as a documentarian and manager of their archive and the founder of the American Photography Archives Group

As a teen, Morris Engel lived in Coney Island and went to Lincoln High School. As Mary Engel says in the interview: "Coney Island was important, not only because of Lincoln High School and how much that helped him and opened up his world, but also he shot a lot on the beach and he always talked about sort of shooting what you know, so that's why he did stills there. And that's why he made Little Fugitive there because he was familiar with it. He knew it."