Friday, April 15, 2011

Helen Hill

Helen Hill holding chicken "Daisy" a...Image via WikipediaHelen Hill was a great filmmaker (among many other talents) who was murdered in 2007 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She was also an acquaintance, and because of that I've been following the progress of her husband Paul Gailiunas as he has been completing her final film. He's done, the film is now touring. There's a grand, big showing in Columbia, SC on April 16th - Helen was from SC and that's where we first met. Here's a note from Paul about the film. If you live anywhere near SC, I highly recommend making the road trip for this special evening.

"This is to announce that The Florestine Collection, the film Helen Hill started in 2001, has been finished and will have its first two screenings very soon. Helen began this project after she found more than 100 handsewn dresses in a trash pile soon after she and I moved to New Orleans from Canada. She wanted to find out more about the seamstress and make a film about her.

She received funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and continued to work on the film as a new mother and then after Hurricane Katrina, which ruined a lot of the material she had already filmed.

After Helen was murdered in January 2007, I decided that I wanted to finish the film that she devoted much of her energy to. I got an incredible amount of help and support from our friends and family, and I recently completed it as a 16 mm film print, which is how Helen liked to screen her films.

The final result is a 31 minute experimental documentary that includes Helen's beautiful silhouette and cut-out puppet animation, as well as re-printed flood-damaged home movies.

Helen put a lot of love and energy into The Florestine Collection, and she was very determined to finish it. I am glad to at least be able to present my interpretation of Helen's vision for the film."
- Paul G.

The film shows:
Saturday, April 16
Indie Grits Film Festival
Columbia, South Carolina

It also showed recently at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

Thanks Paul. We all miss Helen, and we're all excited that you've helped interpret her vision and have completed this film. I hope many film festivals and exhibition venues book the film for further screenings soon.
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