Independent filmmaker, Helen Hill, was shot to death in her New Orleans home on Jan. 4, 2007, reports ASSOCIATED PRESS. Hill's husband, physician Dr. Paul Gailiunas, was also injured in the attack. The couple had moved to the Faubourg Marigny area following the destruction of their home in the Mid-City section of the city as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Police report that both were shot at their front door at approximately 5:30 am. No other details were made available.
"They were wonderful people. Two bright spots in New Orleans. They gave us hope that people could live together. And they'd do anything for anybody," said Sheri Branch, who was watching the couple's two-year-old son while Gailiunas was recovering in the hospital.
Hill was an experimental shorts maker, whose work screened at festivals in the U.S. and Canada. In 2004, she was awarded a $35,000 Rockefeller Foundation's Program for Media Artists fellowship for her film THE FLORESTINE COLLECTION. Additionally, Hill taught filmmaking and animation to students ranging from grade school to college. The Harvard graduate earned her master of fine arts in experimental animation from CalArts in 1995.