Helen, Paul, and Francis

Helen's Films

Splendid new 16 mm prints of 10 of Helen's films are now available for screening from the Harvard Film Archive. The films are:

Madame Winger Makes a Film
Scratch and Crow
Film for Rosie
Tunnel of Love
Bohemian Town
Your New Pig Is Down the Road
The World's Smallest Fair
Rain Dance

Groups and Festivals interested in screening the films can contact:
Mark Johnson, HFA Film Trafficker
(617) 496-8438

Our goal has been to preserve Helen's films and to have prints available for distribution.

It was serendipitous that Helen attended the Orphans Film Festival in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina in the Spring of 2006 where she met Dan Streible ( now at New York University), Laura Kissel (University of South Carolina), Susan Courtney (USC), Russ Suniewick (Colorlab), Kara Van Malssen (NYU), Bill Brand (BBOptics) and Dwight Swanson (Center for Home Movies).

We are grateful to Dan Streible for wise and gentle expert guidance through a difficult time.

Laura Kissel worked patiently with us to create an inventory of Helen's films. This was a challenging task, as the films include several different formats and their condition varies, some of which is due to flood damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Susan Courtney has given us valuable support and advice.

We are grateful for the excellent work by Russ Suniewick and Eleanor Webb at Colorlab for making the preservation internegatives and the beautiful screening prints that are now available for distribution. We don't understand the process but we know it required time, expertise, and care.

We are grateful also to Bill Brand for helping with the technical aspects of viewing the answer prints. We loved the positive critical observations he made as we watched the films together in a darkened room in the Art Department at USC. Bill and his students in NYU's Moving Image Archiving & Preservation program also restored Helen's early film, Rain Dance.

Kara Van Malssen from NYU and Andy Smith from the Nickelodeon were there with us, providing more support and good words about Helen's films.

We are deeply appreciative that Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive, has arranged to have Helen's alma mater create and permanently care for the Helen Hill Collection of her films and papers. We are especially grateful for his help with this initial distribution of these films. Later we hope to have other avenues of distribution including a DVD.

We are also grateful to Eric Schwartz (National Film Preservation Foundation) for helping us with the legal issues.

Dwight and Kara will come to Columbia in May to work in Helen's studio to restore some of Helen's home movies that were damaged in Katrina. Paul is working on completing The Florestine Collection.

We have found comfort in working on Helen's films. She was proud of her work and would be happy that it is protected and preserved and available for distribution.

Harvard is also interested in her papers as they make a good resource for students of animation, filmmaking, film history, and preservation. We hope friends and past students will send us copies of her teaching handouts, posters featuring her films, her zines and booklets, postcards, cells, puppets, backgrounds, film screening events, memorials to her work, etc.

We understand that everyone needs a souvenir from Helen, but if you have extra or can copy some, please send them to

Becky Lewis, Kevin Lewis, and Paul Gailiunas
1432 Medway Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29205

Her work will be kept in a safe place and available for Francis Pop and all to see.