School of Education News

Hilyard screens 'Катюша (Katyusha),' sweeps top honors at New York film festival

October 30, 2017
UW-Madison's Stephen Hilyard recently screened his three channel experimental movie titled “Катюша (Katyusha)” at The Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image (AFFMI) in New York City and was awarded several top ​honors. 

Hilyard is a professor of digital arts with the School of Education’s Art Department.

The festival ran Oct. 10-13 and included 31 other films from 11 countries. “Катюша (Katyusha)” was awarded the Juror’s Award for the best film in the festival by the 15-person AFFMI jury, as well as Best Director, Best Experimental Short, Best Editing and Best Sound Design. 

Stephen Hillyard
UW-Madison's Stephen Hilyard's experimental movie
“Катюша (Katyusha)” captured five awards, including the
coveted Juror's Award, at the Artists Forum Festival of the
Moving Image in New York on Oct. 10-13. Also pictured at
left is Amos White V, founder of the festival.
“Катюша (Katyusha)” tells the story of Pyramida, a show-case community created by the Soviet Union in the Svalbard International Territory in the high Arctic. Pyramida, once the northernmost town on earth, was evacuated in 48 hours in 1998 leaving a ghost town. 

While shooting “Катюша (Katyusha),” Hilyard undertook two expeditions to Pyramida and filmed at various locations in the Madison area. Hilyard also collaborated with local actors and dancers, as well as the University of Wisconsin Russian Folk Orchestra, which made a number of special recordings of Russian folk songs for the soundtrack. 

Hilyard has screened and exhibited “Катюша (Katyusha)” multiple times over the past year , including at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, The Marfa (Texas) Film Festival and the Vkratze Film Festival (Volgograd, Russian Federation), where it was awarded the prize for “Best Sound Design." 

The project was supported by grants from the Vilas Foundation, UW-Madison's Graduate School, the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the American Scandinavian Foundation.

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