Tragedy struck New Orleans and the experimental film community yesterday. Mother, wife, and experimental filmmaker Helen Hill was brutally gunned down at her door early yesterday morning. Few details are known, but it is one of a rash of five murders in the span of 14 hours in New Orleans. You can read the AP report here. Her husband was also shot in the attack, but survived along with their two-year-old son.
Some of Helen’s friends have started a memorial web page. I’m sure more info will appear there soon.
I didn’t know Helen personally, but came across her work when a friend helped her reprint her well-know Recipes for Disaster book to raise funds to help restore the home and films that were damaged by hurricane Katrina. The amazing book is a cookbook of sorts for DIY filmmaking and has been an inspiration and tool for independent filmmakers for years. I’m sure the book, Helen’s films, and her memory will continue to inspire people for years to come. She will be sorely missed.
If you have photos and memories you’d like to contribute to Helen’s memorial site, you can email them to memory[at]helenhill.org
Thanks to Alfonso Alvarez, Larry Urbanski and all those on Frameworks and the AMIA listserv who have shared news and memories.