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Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins to be honored with American Film Institute scholarship fund


The America Film Institute is paying tribute to the late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins following her tragic death Thursday on the set of her Western film Rust.

The AFI is creating a scholarship fund devoted to women cinematographers which aims to help them ‘build sustainable careers in the movie business,’ filmmaker Olia Oparina told Variety on Friday.

One of Rust’s stars, Alec Baldwin, accidentally shot and killed Hutchins after firing a prop gun, which also injured the film’s director, Joel Souza.

Inspiring other women: Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer accidentally shot and killed on the set of Rust on Thursday by Alec Baldwin, will be honored with a scholarship fund from the American Film Institute, Variety reported on Friday; seen in 2018 in Park City, Utah

Inspiring other women: Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer accidentally shot and killed on the set of Rust on Thursday by Alec Baldwin, will be honored with a scholarship fund from the American Film Institute, Variety reported on Friday; seen in 2018 in Park City, Utah

In her statement, Oparina described Hutchins as her ‘closest friend.’

The two collaborated on the 2017 mystery thriller Snowbound, which Oparina directing and helping to shape the story, while Hutchins was credited as the director of photography. 

‘From the moment I sat down next to Halyna in UCLA extension’s film directing class, I knew we would be best friends,’ Oparina said in her statement.

She described how the friends — ‘two first generation immigrants from Ukraine and Russia who didn’t know a single soul in the movie business’ — began their careers after moving to Hollywood 11 years earlier.

Tragic accident: Hutchins was killed when Baldwin fired a prop gun on Thursday that had been loaded. The director was also wounded, but he has been released from the hospital; seen in 2019 in NYC

Tragic accident: Hutchins was killed when Baldwin fired a prop gun on Thursday that had been loaded. The director was also wounded, but he has been released from the hospital; seen in 2019 in NYC

Rising stars: Hutchins friend, the writer and director Olia Oparina, described how the two were immigrants and built a 'tribe' of other filmmakers as they rose in the industry; seen in August in Arkansas

Rising stars: Hutchins friend, the writer and director Olia Oparina, described how the two were immigrants and built a ‘tribe’ of other filmmakers as they rose in the industry; seen in August in Arkansas

‘Instead of asking others for a seat at their table, we decided to build our own,’ she explained. ‘As we worked on finishing our master’s degrees, we began to find “our tribe”: a group of writers, producers and crew members that became our surrogate family. 

As a group they worked on a mix of short films and feature-length offerings. 

‘No matter the scale of the project, Halyna always brought her passion and craftsmanship to each and every single one of them,’ Oparina continued. ‘Her clear vision and unique voice set her apart from all other cinematographers, as did her unquenchable thirst for cinematic knowledge. She was an inspiration and role model to anyone who had the fortune to work with her.’

Oparina described Hutchins as a cinematographer concerned with the success of other professional women in an industry that has been dismissive in past decades, if not outright hostile. 

Helping others: The AFI scholarship inspired by Hutchins will be open to women cinematographers

Helping others: The AFI scholarship inspired by Hutchins will be open to women cinematographers

‘Throughout her career, she was an advocate for female DP’s [directors of photography] and directors, familiar with the struggles women face in the entertainment industry,’ she continued. ‘After overcoming many hurdles, Halyna began to get offers on big-budget films like Archenemy and Blindfire, features she was proud to lend her vision to. 

Oparina added: ‘Her passing is a tragedy, not only for her family and friends, but also for the world of film she so loved, which has been forever deprived of her great talent.’

Hutchins, who was born in Ukraine, first learned her craft in the Professional Producing program at UCLA, which she graduated from in 2010, before she graduated from the AFI Conservatory.

The AFI is currently accepting donations for the Halyna Hutchins Memorial Scholarship Fund.   

Remembering a rising star: Frances Fisher, who stars with Baldwin in the film Rust, paid tribute to Hutchins on Friday

Remembering a rising star: Frances Fisher, who stars with Baldwin in the film Rust, paid tribute to Hutchins on Friday

Following Hutchins’ untimely death, one of Rust’s stars, Frances Fisher, paid her respects on Instagram.

Fisher, 69, shared a photo of herself embracing Hutchins on set and wrote that she ‘loved watching’ the Director of Photography work behind the camera.

Fisher was joined by stars including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Viola Davis and others paying tribute to Hutchins in the wake of her tragic death. 

Fisher’s photo appeared to show her in costume for the Western film, which is set in the 1880s.

The actress smiled while wrapping her arms around Halyna, who was dressed in casual contemporary clothing 

‘Rest in Paradise Dear Halyna — I loved watching you work,’ Fisher began. ‘Your intense focus and your vibrant command of the room.

‘I asked you to stand next to me in our #IAsolidarity #RUST cast&crew photo because I wanted to make sure you were front and center, seeing as there are so few non-male directors of photography,’ Fisher continued, referencing a show of support for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union (IATSE), which has been in the process of negotiating for a new contract with major film studios. 

Paying tribute: 'Rest in Paradise Dear Halyna — I loved watching you work. Your intense focus and your vibrant command of the room,' she wrote; seen in 2019 in Beverly Hills

Paying tribute: ‘Rest in Paradise Dear Halyna — I loved watching you work. Your intense focus and your vibrant command of the room,’ she wrote; seen in 2019 in Beverly Hills

Fisher added that her classic Western film Unforgiven, which starred and was directed by her then-partner Clint Eastwood, was on her mind after the tragic accident. 

‘There is a line from #Unforgiven that maybe someday I will have the courage to put here,’ she wrote. ‘It pretty much sums it all up.’ 

‘In the meantime, my prayers are with your family and with all who love and miss you.’

Fisher concluded by tagging Hutchins’ Instagram account, which featured posts from the set of Rust, included a self-shot video of Hutchins riding a horse during some downtime. 

‘See the beauty of her vision,’ Fisher instructed her followers.

Tragedy: Hutchins was shot and killed on Thursday during rehearsals for Rust when Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on set; seen October 7 in East Hampton, New York

Tragedy: Hutchins was shot and killed on Thursday during rehearsals for Rust when Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on set; seen October 7 in East Hampton, New York

Reaction: He has since shared a statement on social media in which he wrote that his 'heart is broken' over Hutchins' death

Reaction: He has since shared a statement on social media in which he wrote that his ‘heart is broken’ over Hutchins’ death

Hutchins was shot and killed on Thursday during rehearsals for Rust when Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on set.

The gun has been described as having a ‘live’ round, though that doesn’t necessarily indicate that it was loaded with a bullet, as other forms of debris in the gun could have been fired out of it.

The cinematographer was struck by the shot, as was the film’s director. Hutchins was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque and was later pronounced dead, while Souza was rushed to a nearby hospital. 

Fisher shared Friday on Twitter that ‘Director Joel Souza told me he’s out of hospital.’

According to on-set witnesses on set, Baldwin was stunned after firing the fatal round and asked: ‘Why was I handed a hot gun?’ 

Witnesses on set said that Baldwin was shocked after firing the live round and asked, ‘Why was I handed a hot gun?’

He has since shared a statement on social media in which he wrote that his ‘heart is broken’ over Hutchins’ death.

Hard at work: Dune star Timothée Chalamet shared a post from Women in Film, Los Angeles, which paid tribute to its member Hutchins and showed her at work behind the camera, and his costar Zendaya posted the same image to her Instagram Stories

Hard at work: Dune star Timothée Chalamet shared a post from Women in Film, Los Angeles, which paid tribute to its member Hutchins and showed her at work behind the camera, and his costar Zendaya posted the same image to her Instagram Stories

Never again: Viola Davis reposted an image of Hutchins on a film set that was originally shared by actor Colman Domingo. 'May our industry work even harder to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again on any set. Period,' he wrote

Never again: Viola Davis reposted an image of Hutchins on a film set that was originally shared by actor Colman Domingo. ‘May our industry work even harder to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again on any set. Period,’ he wrote

Fisher was joined by several other actors and filmmakers who paid tribute to Hutchins’ work in Hollywood.

Dune star Timothée Chalamet shared a post from Women in Film, Los Angeles, which paid tribute to its member Hutchins and showed her at work behind the camera, and his costar Zendaya posted the same image to her Instagram Stories.

Viola Davis reposted an image of Hutchins on a film set that was originally shared by If Beale Street Could Talk actor Colman Domingo and included his caption.

‘May our industry work even harder to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again on any set. Period,’ he wrote. ‘Halyna Hutchins passing shall not be in vain. Tragic for our whole industry.’

Condolences: 'This is so heart breaking,' wrote Riley Keough. 'My love to her husband, children and family. We must do better with fire arm safety on our sets'

Condolences: ‘This is so heart breaking,’ wrote Riley Keough. ‘My love to her husband, children and family. We must do better with fire arm safety on our sets’

Filmmaker to filmmaker: A Wrinkle In Time director Ava DuVernay simply posted a photo of Hutchins on set behind a camera

Filmmaker to filmmaker: A Wrinkle In Time director Ava DuVernay simply posted a photo of Hutchins on set behind a camera

Protectors: Shameless star Emmy Rossum wrote: 'There are absolutely no words to describe the despair and sorrow we collectively feel at the loss of DP and mother @halynahutchins. We must band together to protect our crews. There are so many questions as to how this could have happened'

Protectors: Shameless star Emmy Rossum wrote: ‘There are absolutely no words to describe the despair and sorrow we collectively feel at the loss of DP and mother @halynahutchins. We must band together to protect our crews. There are so many questions as to how this could have happened’

Actress Riley Keough posted a photo of Hutchins in a leather jacket and a tan knit hat.

‘This is so heart breaking,’ she wrote. ‘My love to her husband, children and family. We must do better with fire arm safety on our sets.’ 

A Wrinkle In Time director Ava DuVernay simply posted a photo of Hutchins on set behind a camera.

Shameless star Emmy Rossum wrote: ‘There are absolutely no words to describe the despair and sorrow we collectively feel at the loss of DP and mother @halynahutchins. We must band together to protect our crews. There are so many questions as to how this could have happened.’ 

On Twitter, Elijah Wood wrote: ‘Absolutely horrifying and devastating news about cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. My heart goes. out to her family.’

Filmmaker and actor Alex Winter shared his ‘deepest condolences to the family and friends of Halyna Hutchins.’

He added: Crew should never be unsafe on set and when they are there is always a clearly definable reason why,’ adding the hashtag ‘#IASolidarity.’ 

Horrific: On Twitter, Elijah Wood wrote: 'Absolutely horrifying and devastating news about cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. My heart goes. out to her family.'

Horrific: On Twitter, Elijah Wood wrote: ‘Absolutely horrifying and devastating news about cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. My heart goes. out to her family.’

Solidarity: Filmmaker and actor Alex Winter shared his 'deepest condolences to the family and friends of Halyna Hutchins' and supported the union IATSE

Solidarity: Filmmaker and actor Alex Winter shared his ‘deepest condolences to the family and friends of Halyna Hutchins’ and supported the union IATSE

Pointing fingers: Comedian and actor Paul Scheer tweeted that he was 'gutted' and called Hutchins' death a 'crime'

Pointing fingers: Comedian and actor Paul Scheer tweeted that he was ‘gutted’ and called Hutchins’ death a ‘crime’

Comedian and actor Paul Scheer tweeted that he was ‘gutted.’

‘This is beyond a tragedy and there are so many rules in place to make sure this can’t happen. I can’t even fathom how this is possible. So many people had to be negligent. This is a crime.’

He added: ‘Halyna was a tremendous talent. I’m sick to my stomach.’

Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn wrote that his ‘greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets.’

‘I pray this will never happen. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy today on Rust, especially Halyna Hutchins & her family.’  

Director Mike Flanagan wrote that his ‘heart breaks for the family and friends of Halyna Hutchins — this is just horrifying and devastating news.’

Personal: Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn wrote that his 'greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets.'

Personal: Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn wrote that his ‘greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets.’

Devastating: Director Mike Flanagan wrote that his 'heart breaks for the family and friends of Halyna Hutchins — this is just horrifying and devastating news'

Devastating: Director Mike Flanagan wrote that his ‘heart breaks for the family and friends of Halyna Hutchins — this is just horrifying and devastating news’

Baldwin’s family members also expressed their sadness at Halyna’s death while expressing support for him.

‘My love and support go to Halnya [sic] Hutchins’ family and friends,’ Baldwin’s daughter Ireland Baldwin wrote. ‘Sending healing thoughts to Joel Souza. And wishing I could hug my dad extra tight today.’

Baldwin’s niece Hailey Bieber wrote that she was ‘sending all my love to the family of Halyna Hutchins,’ adding, ‘This is a truly unimaginable and devastating tragedy.’

She continued: ‘My thoughts are also with Joel Souza as he recovers. I am absolutely heartbroken for everyone involved.’

Bieber’s father and Alec Baldwin’s brother Stephen Baldwin didn’t single out any names but asked for prayers.

‘Asking for your prayers tonight friends not much can be said other than please pray for all involved in the wake of this tragic accident than you,’ he wrote, adding, ‘#Psalm91’ in his caption.

Reaching out: Baldwin's family members also expressed their sadness at Halyna's death while expressing support for him, including his daughter Ireland

Reaching out: Baldwin’s family members also expressed their sadness at Halyna’s death while expressing support for him, including his daughter Ireland

Thoughts and prayers: Baldwin's niece Hailey Bieber wrote that she was 'sending all my love to the family of Halyna Hutchins,' adding, 'This is a truly unimaginable and devastating tragedy.'

Thoughts and prayers: Baldwin’s niece Hailey Bieber wrote that she was ‘sending all my love to the family of Halyna Hutchins,’ adding, ‘This is a truly unimaginable and devastating tragedy.’

Praying: Bieber's father and Alec Baldwin's brother Stephen Baldwin didn't single out any names but asked for prayers

Praying: Bieber’s father and Alec Baldwin’s brother Stephen Baldwin didn’t single out any names but asked for prayers



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