From: alvamel (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Feb 08 2007 - 10:44:36 PST
I'm sure that there are others on this list who have more information, please share. Here is a little of what I know thus far.
As many of you may know, upon the news of Helen's death, the Ann Arbor Film Festival decided to dedicate this year's fest to Helen's memory. She screened a number of films in the past few years and was a juror there 2 years ago. A retropective of her work is planned, along with a party at a local jazz cafe - to celebrate her life and endearing spirit.
On the heels of this announcement, I called around to a number of institutions and individuals (some of whom are on this listserve) to find out if Helen's films were in distribution and if there were any prints available. It turns out that aside from the odd collaborative and privately held pieces, Helen was self-disrtibuted. I thought that judging from a phone conversation I'd had with Helen, before the impending hurricane & floods, she was able to take most, if not all of her work, including negs, with her to her mother's place in Columbia, SC. Subsequent emails and phone conversations indicate that infact very few prints and no negs survived the ordeal.
After her death, with the help of several close friends, all the remaining filmwork was moved to her mother, Becky Lewis' place. Helen's husband Paul, and Becky are working with an archivist from U. South Carolina to catalog Helen's work. Becky and Paul decided to make dupe negs from restored release prints. They seem to have a print of each title. In a recent email I rec'd over the weekend - 'prints are being made right now at Color Lab in Baltimore by Russ Suniewick. He had met her in Columbia when she talked at the Orphan film conference.' Also, in emails with Paul an Becky, there is work being done to create a DVD.
This, in a nutshell is the all general information that I have about Helen's work. At this time, I have no idea how the family plans to distribute work for exhibition. I think this is being worked out by her family but they have yet to say what they plan to do. I'm not sure, but it appears that AAFF will be the first in a series of screenings in the US and Canada. Hopefully this will all work out to everyone's best interest.
I hope this sheds some light on an otherwise extraordinary situaton.
>From: programming <email suppressed>
>Sent: Feb 7, 2007 5:57 PM
>To: email suppressed
>Subject: Helen Hill films availability and "Recipes for Disaster" films
>I am working with local filmmaker Jodie Mack to, hopefully, organize a
>tribute/memorial screening to Helen Hill here at Chicago Filmmakers in June
>We wanted to see if there was any updated information on the availability of
>Helen's films for a screening.
>We also would like to include work made from or inspired by "Recipes for
>Disaster" and are hoping to compile a list of those films. If any of you
>have made films yourself using Helen's book(let) or if you know of films
>that were, please email me offlist at email suppressed
>I will compile and then post a complete list back to Frameworks for
>Thanks for any/all assistance,
>5243 N. Clark St.
>Chicago, IL 60640
>(773) 293-1447 phone
>For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.