Dec 21, 2017

Nazlı Dinçel receives 2018 Helen Hill Award

Good news from Columbia, South Carolina, as reported below by USC faculty and Orphan Film Symposium co-founders Susan Courtney and Laura Kissel.

For the 11th Orphan Film Symposium, NYU Cinema Studies and the University of South Carolina Film and Media Studies Program present the 2018 Helen Hill Award to independent filmmaker Nazlı Dinçel. 

The award-winning filmmaker will introduce and screen a selection of her 16mm works for the Orphan Film Symposium's international audience of media artists, archivists, scholars, students, curators, collectors, producers, distributors, preservationists, tech experts, and other enthusiasts devoted to saving and screening neglected media. She will be one of dozens of presenters showcasing rare, rediscovered, and previously neglected moving images during the symposium, April 11-14, 2018. Appropriately, the theme of "Orphans 11" is Love.

The biennial award honors the legacy of artist Helen Hill and her extraordinary accomplishments as a filmmaker, educator, and animator. Named in honor of the South Carolina-born citizen of the world who inspired many, the juried award supports independent media artists of exceptional talent whose work embodies Helen Hill’s spirit of creativity and innovation, and shares her commitments to love, play, and human connection. Past recipients who showed their work at the Orphan Film Symposium are Sasha Waters Freyer, Werner Nekes, Jeanne Liotta, Jo Dery, Danielle Ash, Jodie Mack, James Kinder, and Naomi Uman.

Meeting all of the Helen Hill Award criteria, the films of Nazlı Dinçel are bold, probing, and deeply engaging. In her own words, Dinçel reminds us that “failure, miscommunication and fair representation of bodies should be a part of [our] conversation of ‘love.’” In her pursuit of these subjects, Dinçel is an experimental filmmaker in the truest sense of the word: she uses highly evocative handmade filmmaking techniques to explore challenging subject matter, including female sexuality, intimacy, and vulnerability in the lives of women as well as men. Inviting audiences to think seriously, and publicly, about some of our most private experiences, Dinçel treats her subjects with insight, generosity, and delightful humor. 

Throughout such engagements her filmmaking practice also resonates with Helen Hill’s, as Dinçel is a self-described “one-woman-crew," "animating text by hand frame-by-frame onto the film emulsion.”

Born in Ankara, Turkey, Dinçel immigrated to the United States at age 17. She received an MFA in filmmaking from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where she currently resides and is building an artist-run film laboratory. Her works have been exhibited at film festivals around the world, and she is the recipient of numerous awards. Recently these include the Marian McMahon Akimbo Award at the 2017 Images Festival in Toronto and Best Experimental Film (Her Silent Seaming) at the 2015 Chicago Underground Film Festival.

The NYU symposium convenes April 11-14, 2018 at Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, New York.  Registration is open to all.  Register here

Nazlı Dinçel Filmography (all 16mm)

Updown ( 2009) 3' silent
Reframe (2009) 4' silent
Free Association (2010) 5'
18 Feet (2010) 5'
Interval (2011)
Leafless (2011) 8'
Her Silent Seaming (2014) 11'
Solitary Acts #4 (2015) 8'
Solitary Acts #5 (2015) 5'
Solitary Acts #6 (2015) 11'
Void (4. INABILITY) (2016) 5' silent
7. FORGETTING  (2016) 3' 
Shape of a Surface (2017) 9'

Excerpts at


Frames from a Helen Hill 16mm film and a Nazlı Dinçel 16mm film.