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College of Arts & Sciences
Film and Media Studies Program


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Helen Hill Award

The Helen Hill Award for the Orphan Film Symposium

The Film and Media Studies Program at the University of South Carolina and New York University's Department of Cinema Studies are pleased to announce the Helen Hill Award. To honor the legacy of filmmaker, film educator, animator, and Columbia, SC native Helen Hill, the award supports innovative independent filmmakers. The award funds its recipients to attend the Orphan Film Symposium where their work is screened by an eclectic audience of other filmmakers, scholars, moving image archivists, curators, collectors, students, and others working in media beyond the mainstream.

This award honors work that affirms Helen Hill's artistic legacy, lived values, and everyday passions. In a film culture dominated by corporate interests and the values of consumerism, the Helen Hill Award supports radically independent, innovative filmmaking of exceptional talent. The award will be presented to a filmmaker whose work celebrates and embodies such things as creativity, self-expression, animation, small-gauge film, homemade movies and all things made by hand, collaboration, generosity, liberal spirituality, activism, love, play, community, and connection.

Applications for the 2016 Helen Hill Award are now being accepted. Application guidelines can be found on the Orphan Film Symposium website. 

Helen Hill Award recipients

2016: Sasha Waters Freyer

2014: Werner Nekes

2012: Jo Dery and Jeanne Liotta

2010: Jodie Mack and Danielle Ash

2008: Naomi Uman and Jimmy Kinder