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Top film school honors Halyna Hutchins with a scholarship for female cinematographers

Candles surround a photo of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a vigil on Oct. 23 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The American Film Institute established a scholarship in honor of Hutchins, who was killed by a prop gun on the set of the movie "Rust" last week.
Sam Wasson
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Candles surround a photo of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a vigil on Oct. 23 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The American Film Institute established a scholarship in honor of Hutchins, who was killed by a prop gun on the set of the movie "Rust" last week.

The American Film Institute has created a scholarship in honor of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who died on the set of Rust when Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun.

"As is profoundly true in the art of cinematography, words alone cannot capture the loss of one so dear to the AFI community," the nonprofit said in announcing the initiative. "At AFI, we pledge to see that Halyna Hutchins will live on in the spirit of all who strive to see their dreams realized in stories well told."

The scholarship is for the AFI Conservatory, a prestigious film school in Los Angeles. The Ukraine-born cinematographer graduated from AFI Conservatory after completing UCLA's Professional Producing program, according to Variety.

Matt Hutchins, Halyna's husband, said in a tweet that the fund will "honor her memory and support aspiring female cinematographers." He thanked her AFI friends and mentors for creating the fund and encouraged anyone seeking to honor her memory to direct their giving to it.

Director and writer Olia Oparina told Variety that the fund aims to help female cinematographers "build sustainable careers in the movie business."

In a statement, Oparina recalled how Hutchins — whom she described as her closest friend — brought her unique vision and voice to every project, and advocated for female directors and directors of photography as someone "familiar with the struggles women face in the entertainment industry."

"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," she concluded.

Here's more information about the scholarship fund. The International Cinematographers Guild has also created a GoFundMe to raise money for Hutchins' family, which you can find here.


This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.

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