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Jerome Hill Centennial: A Filmmaker and His Legacy

“There was in Jerome [Hill], at the beginning and continuously at the end, a firm connection between generosity and expansiveness . . . “
– Mary Ann Caws, Jerome Hill: Living in the Arts

St. Paul native Jerome Hill (1905–1972) had a profound influence on 20th-century avant-garde film and the artists associated with it, both as a filmmaker and a philanthropist. Known at first for his documentaries—Hill won an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1957 for Albert Schweitzer—he later became a significant member of a circle of experimental and avant-garde filmmakers in New York and Europe. Hill also generously supported other artists, including Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage, and Peter Kubelka, with financial contributions and by establishing such organizations as the Anthology Film Archives in New York in 1969. After Hill’s death, the Jerome Foundation in St. Paul was endowed to help emerging filmmakers in Minnesota and New York City. Recipients of this critical support during the early stages of their careers include such luminaries as Todd Haynes (Poison), Spike Lee (She’s Gotta Have It), and Mira Nair (So Far from India). The series features films funded by the Jerome Foundation and includes Hill’s last work (Film Portrait) as well as an evening with Todd Haynes.