The Florestein Collection

Animator and activist Helen Hill died in January 2007 when a burglar shot her and her husband, Paul Gailiunas, in their New Orleans home; her tragic end stands in stark contrast to the sunny innocence of her short films, screening at Chicago Filmmakers in restored 16-millimeter prints from the Harvard Film Archive. Her stop-motion work has an appealing handmade quality, with puckish imagery created from construction paper, watercolors, pen and ink, and various odds and ends (in the carnivalesque Tunnel of Love, a shallow tin can serves as a cotton-candy machine). Hill was also the doting owner of a pot-bellied pig, and porcine imagery crops up all over the place. Included on the Filmmakers program is her 31-minute The Florestein Collection (2011), unfinished at the time of her death but subsequently completed by Gailiunas.