Tiny is a documentary about home, and how we find it. The film follows one couple’s attempt to build a “tiny house” from scratch, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into homes smaller than the average parking space. Featuring homes stripped down to their essentials, exploring the owners’ stories and the design innovations that make the houses work, the film raises questions about good design, the nature of home, and the changing American Dream. That dream for some may focus on flexibility, financial freedom, and quality of life over quantity of space. Tiny is a coming-of-age story for a generation that is more connected, yet less tied-down than ever, and for a society redefining its priorities in the face of a changing financial and environmental climate. More than anything, the film invites its viewers to dream big and imagine living small.
At the center of the film is Christopher Smith, who approaches his 30th birthday after a decade of travel, and decides it’s time to plant some roots. He impulsively buys a five-acre plot of land in hopes of fulfilling a lifelong dream of building a home in the mountains of Colorado. With the support of his girlfriend, Merete, he sets out to build a “tiny house” from scratch, despite having no construction experience whatsoever. He dives headlong into the tension between settling down and staying adrift, between preserving a parcel of land that he loves and developing it. Merete begins to ask her own questions about settling down, and both walk away with unexpected lessons about the meaning of home, the importance of place, and the personal impact of sticking with a project that became bigger than they’d ever imagined.
Running time: 62 minutes