This is the sad type of story that obviously no one would like to be reporting. After losing their home during Hurricane Katrina, filmmaker/animator Helen Hill and her husband, Dr. Paul Gailiunas, returned to New Orleans last August. Yesterday morning, Helen Hill was shot and killed in her home and her husband was also shot, in an apparently random act of violence. An AP story says Hill was the fifth person violently killed in New Orleans in a span of 14 hours. All the sad details about her death can be found in the South Carolina paper THE STATE.
Hill, 36, earned her Master of Fine Arts in experimental animation from CalArts in 1995. Her animated shorts screened at numerous festivals, and in 2004 she received a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Program for Media Artists for THE FLORESTINE COLLECTION, a film “reflecting on handcrafted work and race in New Orleans through the story of a collection of hand-sewn dresses and the woman who made them.” In addition to her filmmaking, Hill taught filmmaking and animation to youth and adults, and served as visiting artist at the California State Summer School for the Arts and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
(Thanks, Heather Harkins)
UPDATE: Ottawa International Animation Festival director Chris Robinson writes a beautiful tribute to Helen Hill.