Helen Hill

Helen Wingard Hill was an American-Canadian animation filmmaker and social activist who lived in New Orleans, Louisiana. When her final film, “The Florestine Collection”, was released in 2011, curators and critics described her as "one of the most well-regarded experimental animators of her generation. Helen Hill was a native of South Carolina, where she lived until graduating from Dreher High School in 1988. Hill earned her A.B. at Harvard University in 1992, where she majored in English and minored in Visual and Environmental Studies, the academic department housing film-making. Hill further developed her artistic work while completing her Masters of Fine Arts degree at California Institute of Arts. Upon her graduation from CalArts in 1995, she moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Hill continued to create films and teach film animation at the Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design and at the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative.

The Florestine Collection. Experimental film, more than 100 handmade dresses in a trash pile on one Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans. She set out to make a film about the dressmaker, an African-American seamstress who had recently passed away. The dresses and much of the film footage were later flood-damaged by Hurricane Katrina while Helen was still working on the film. Helen was murdered in a home invasion in New Orleans in 2007. Her husband Paul Gailiunas has completed the film, which includes Helen's original silhouette, cut-out, and puppet animation, as well as flood-damaged and restored home movies.

Exhibition at CineCycle, Toronto, Canada; in co-presentation with Toronto Animated Image Society and The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (Harvard Film Archive) at Harvard University.