Halyna Hutchins Husband Announces AFI Memorial Scholarship
The husband of the late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins announced the establishment of an American Film Institute (AFI) scholarship fund on behalf of his wife early this morning. On Twitter, Matt Hutchins, Halyna’s husband, asked “anyone seeking to honor her memory” to make a donation to the AFI Halyna Hutchins scholarship fund, which supports aspiring female filmmakers.
42-year-old cinematographer killed on set of western Rust Thursday night in New Mexico after a propeller pistol fired by Alec Baldwin was accidentally discharged. The incident also left director Joel Souza hospitalized with injuries.
Late Friday night, Matt Hutchins wrote on Twitter about his wife’s death. “Halyna has inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too significant to be summed up in words”, he wrote. “Our loss is enormous and we ask the media to respect my family’s privacy as we process our grief. We thank everyone for sharing pictures and stories from their life. “
Hours later, Hutchins announced that “friends and mentors” at AFI set up a scholarship fund in Halyna’s name to “support aspiring female filmmakers. “ “Thank you to Halyna’s friends and mentors at AFI for creating a scholarship to honor her memory and support aspiring female filmmakers. Anyone looking to honor his memory, please direct your donations to this fund ”, Matt Hutchins tweeted.
In addition, the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, launched a GoFundMe page for the Hutchins family. In less than 48 hours, the campaign raised over $ 148,000. They wrote:
Local 600 mourns the passing of Halyna Hutchins, a cinematographer who died of injuries sustained on the set of “Rust” in New Mexico on Thursday, October 21. Halyna is survived by her husband, Matthew, and her 9-year-old son. In memory of Halyna, Local 600 created this GoFundMe page to help raise funds for her family during this difficult time.
In his first comments since the accident, Rust director Souza said he was “gutted by the loss” of Hutchins. “My thoughts are with his family at this most difficult time”, Souza said in a statement to Deadline. “I am humbled and grateful for the outpouring of affection we have received from our film community, the people of Santa Fe and the hundreds of strangers who have reached out… It will surely help me to recover.”
Tragedy, once again, renewed calls for better working conditions for teams on film and television sets–less than a week later IATSE struck a deal with and avoided a strike and subsequent shutdown. In the days following the incident, numerous reports regarding the unsafe working conditions on Rust, including the use of non-union crew members and lax safety protocols, have been made public.
Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported that in the hours leading up to Halyna’s death, six Rust crew members left the set to protest the dangers work conditions. A source told the Times that safety protocols, including firearms inspection, were not followed on set. According to the IATSE, the propeller pistol contained a “living cartridge”. Acida shooting occurred six hours after the union teamthe members are gone.