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ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival


ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of the very best independent films from around the world. We are a festival who believes in our independent filmmakers and their artistic talents. ÉCU proudly provides a unique platform that brings together diverse audiences who are hungry for something other than major studio productions and original and innovative filmmakers. 

 
The 16th edition of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival will take place on 9th-11th April 2021. Now open for submissions!

 

 

 

For more details regarding the festival, please visit our website at www.ecufilmfestival.com

 

 


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ÉCU SPOTLIGHT: CHARLIE KAUFMAN AND “CROWDFUNDING”

 

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ÉCU is a strong supporter of the unbridled creativity which is afforded to indie filmmakers, but acknowledges the difficulties in financing costs. This week the spotlight is on the acclaimed American screenwriter, director and producer Charlie Kaufman, who defies conventions and creates inspiringly innovative work. In September he raised twice the $200,000 budget required to produce his upcoming animated film Anomalisa, through crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Crowdfunding involves accumulating contributions in support of a project, typically through Internet donation campaigns, and was pioneered in the film industry by French producers and entrepreneurs Benjamin Pommeraud and Guillaume Colboc in 2004 (to fund Demain la Veille). The drawbacks of crowdfunding include taking the risk of disclosing your ideas at an early stage and, for some, being seen soliciting money in public.

ÉCU believes in encouraging those who want to avoid banging down the doors of major studios that will inevitably restrain creative visions. Kaufman’s involvement of the cinema-loving public in the process of filmmaking is a successful way of allowing filmmakers to pursue to creative ideas freely and a great way for fans to have a direct input. The campaign website for Anomalisaeloquently implored the support of its audience: “Our goal is to produce this unique and beautiful film outside of the typical Hollywood studio system where we believe that you, the audience, would never be allowed to enjoy this brilliant work the way it was originally conceived.”

Considering Kaufman’s cinematic achievements include Being John Malcovich (1999), Adaptation (2002), both of which earned him a BAFTA, and Eternal Sunshine of the Mind (2004), it is fair to say that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the film industry and dealing with studios. He won an Oscar for best original screenplay and BAFTA for Eternal Sunshine of the Mind, and his ingenuity and quirky imagination is clear from this poignant film. It is based on a heartbroken man who wishes to literally erase forever the painful memories of his former love with the help of a doctor. Kaufman’s latest project is interesting to spotlight because it may be a step in popularising crowdfunding in filmmaking and demonstrates the triumph of unconventional methods to generate funds.

Donations for the production costs ofAnomalisa amounted to the most money ever raised for a film on Kickstarter, which was certainly a staggering sum. On the Kickstarter website for Anomalisa there was a 60-day pitch which included a well-made video that asked for the opportunity to create a film independently. Pledges were also promised a downloadable ‘making-of’ featurette for their help. So do you have original ideas for a film but no idea how to come up with the capital to shoot? With a good donation campaign it’s possible to succeed and as a bonus make the public part of the creative process of filmmaking. ÉCU eagerly awaits your finished work!

Gill Gillespie

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About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

Hillier Scott
(ECU)

 

 

Scott Hillier, Founder and President of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival
 
Scott Hillier is a director, cinematographer, and screenwriter, based in Paris, France. In the last 20 years, Hillier has gained international recognition from his strong and incredible cinematography, editing, writing, producing and directing portfolio in both the television and film industries.  
 
Scott began his career in the television industry in Australia. In 1988, he moved to London getting a job with the BBC who then set him to Baghdad. This opportunity led him to 10 years of traveling around world for the BBC, mainly in war zones like Somalia, Bosnia, Tchetcheynia, Kashmir, and Lebanon. After a near fatal encounter with a Russian bomber in Tchechnyia, Hillier gave up his war coverage and began in a new direction. 
 

He moved to New York City in 1998.  He directed and photographed eight one-hour documentaries for National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. Based on his war knowledge and experience, Hillier wrote and directed a short film titled, “Behind the Eyes of War!" The film was awarded “Best Short Dramatic Film” at the New York Independent Film and TV Festival in 1999. From that he served as Supervising Producer and Director for the critically acclaimed CBS 42 part reality series, "The Bravest” in 2002 and wrote and directed a stage play called, "Deadman’s Mai l," which ran at Le Théâtre du Moulin de la Galette in Paris during the summer of 2004. He then became the Director of Photography on a documentary titled, “Twin Towers." This was yet another life changing experience for Hillier. The riveting documentary won an Academy Award for "Best Documentary Short Subject" in 2003. In 2004, Hillier changed continents again, spending three months in Ethiopia. He produced “Worlds Apart,” a pilot for ABC America / True Entertainment / Endemol. As you can see, Hillier was and is always in constant movement and enjoys working in a number of diverse creative areas including documentaries, music videos, commercials, feature and short films.

 
Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television School. He also studied literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. Hillier's regular clients include the BBC, Microsoft, ABC, PBS and National Geographic. Between filming assignments, he used to teach film, a Masters Degree course in Screenwriting at the Eicar International Film School in Paris, France and journalism at the Formation des Journalistes Français in Paris, France. 
 

 


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