Helen Hill’s Home Movies (2000-2005)
These are home movies Helen Hill made of her neighborhood in New
Orleans a year before Hurricane Katrina hit. Preservation of these
personal films is a memorial to a unique city and to Hill's work and
life. An award-winning filmmaker, animator and teacher, Hill
consistently documented her life and the lives of the people around her
with a series of Super 8 home movies. Between her return to New Orleans
in 2001 and her first visit back to her devastated neighborhood in
October 2005, she shot forty-two 50 foot Super 8 reels, totaling
approximately 80 minutes of running time. Film labs refused to handle
Hill's flood damaged home movies so she hand-cleaned the films with
soap and water, halting their decay. Hill's Super 8 images are poignant
evidence of unseen neighborhoods and local culture lost in the
Hill was an independent filmmaker, teacher, and animator. She is well
known for her extraordinary use of drawings, paintings, photographs,
cut-out paper and three dimensional cloth puppets. Her techniques
expanded to include hand-processed film, found film footage, her own
home movies and camera-less animation as well as traditional animation.
Raised in Columbia, South Carolina, she began making animated films at
the age of 11. She became a founding member of the New Orleans Film
Collective and taught animation courses at the New Orleans Video Access
Center while continuing to produce her own animated films. Tragically,
in 2006, Helen Hill was murdered in her home.
NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.