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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




Antoine, Bibi and Casimir

by Marie-Charlotte Fossard

Three friends, three personalities and
three differents way of living and loving clearly defined. Antoine, Bibi
and Casimir is the story of the daily tempestuous relationships of
three housemates. Life, friendship, and unexpected love are the key
words for the comedy, only available on the internet. François Chabert
and Laurent Jeanne are the writers and directors of this unusual series.

Their everyday life is somewhat out of the
ordinary and very unique; filled with crazy adventures, unplanned
moments and funny little episodes which make us smile. Antoine, Bibi and
Casimir (ABC) provides a moment of relaxation to watch alone or shared
with your friends. You’ll recognized yourself immediately in one of the
characters or maybe in a little bit of everyone. ABC is a two to three
minute comedy where the characters are funny, charming and very

A little resumé of ABC: Antoine, played by
François Chabert, is a freshly divorced, bourgeois Christian, always
giving good advice and embodying wisdom. He is also sentimental,
anxious and clumsy, and as a consequence he misses various
opportunities. He hesitates between morality and fantasy.

Bibi, played by Alexandra Michel, yearns to
find real love but suffers from low self esteem. She believes that a
man can’t love her and that she doesn’t deserve his love. When a man
likes her, in her mind it’s only because he hasn’t discovered her many
faults. She’s like a teenage girl facing the first burgeonings of love.
Her coworker, Elodie, gives her advice, and acts as her guide for
‘understanding men and acting appropriately’ but in fact it doesn’t help
her at all, as she doesn’t have a clue about men either. Bibi is the
representation of a weak woman, dependent on love and on her image as
seen through a man’s eyes.

Casimir, played by Laurent Jeanne, is the
funniest character, yet he is very caring and protective of Bibi. He is
afraid of nothing and always up for everything, even when he is faced
with delicate situations.

The three leads are not just starting out
as actors, they’ve played in theatre, tv and cinema. Laurent Jeanne is a
former graphic designer who went into comedy a little later than the
others (since 2005). He also worked as a writer and director with
François Chabert for «A SUIVRE… Et ils eurent beaucoup d’enfants».

François Chabert (alias Antoine) rather generously agreed to answer some questions.

Where did you find the idea for ABC?

Everything began when François Chabert and Laurent Jeanne put on a show in a ‘café theatre’

‘We were three people at first (two men and
a woman), and I had an idea for an online project, so we came up with
the idea of a trio then separated. Later the project was relaunched as
an episode a week and from then on the wheels were put in motion’ (later
three episodes a week would be added). François wanted to be both actor
and director.

Where did you meet?

‘I did the contestant casting for the game
show Bigdil and Laurent Jeanne showed up one day for an audition.
Afterwards, he came to the workshop theatre that I ran’. They quickly
noticed they had many things in common. The meeting with Alexandra
Michel happened during an event organized by François’s communication
agency «Com en boite», where he had asked for hostesses and comedians
for an event, one of which turned out to be Alexandra.

What were the difficulties in this project?

‘At first the producers said that it was
impossible’. But this apparently made them even more determined and they
decided to handle everything themselves. As with any project of this
scale the difficulties were mainly connected to financing, editing and
broadcasting (exclusively online).

What were the positive and negative points of being actors and directors at the same time?

‘As an actor, the most positive point was
to be able to look for the best possible take’, and François also
developed his own character which allowed him to get under his skin very
quickly. As for the directing part, the experience didn’t quite occur
in the same way. Although Laurent Jeanne was immediately comfortable in
his director’s role, it was different for François. Even though he
wanted to be both actor and director he nevertheless confided to us ‘I
didn’t feel like a legitimate director’, because up until then it was an
unknown field to him. He had previously directed in the theatre but
this type of directing felt quite different. He explains that:
‘intuition is not enough,you have to take into account many more
factors.’ The sense of legitimacy as a director came to him as time went
on. At first they worked without a storyboard and learnt everything on
the job. Consequently, as with any teamwork, some tensions started to
appear. A co-realisation is always a delicate subject, despite everyone
wanting the same thing, as every director has his or her own personal
vision of the final product.

What did you get out of this experience?

‘I am very proud to be able to show that
it’s possible.’ François gained a lot of pleasure and happiness from the
project, in spite of the difficulties. In particular the artistic
pleasure to be able to lead this project from A to Z. He was able to
express himself without any constraints that a production company may
have imposed should they have collaborated.

How do you define independent cinema?

‘I really like independent film and I’m
part of the rare group of people who are interested in it. I do feel it
needs to get out of the intellectual ghetto which it currently
represent. The idea that only a certain number of directors can bring
something new is too widespread.’ He does however express some reserves
for a few French films which for him, are not of the best quality.


Trois amis, trois personnalités et visions
de la vie, de l’amour bien définies. Antoine, Bibi et Casimir est le
quotidien tumultueux de trois amis colocataires. La vie, l’amitié,
l’amour tant attendu, espéré ou inespéré sont les mots clés de cette
série humoristique visible exclusivement sur le web. François Chabert et
Laurent Jeanne sont les auteurs et réalisateurs de cette nouvelle

Un quotidien insolite et singulier. Des
aventures saugrenues, des rencontres foireuses, des moments cocasses de
la vie qui nous font sourire. ABC est un moment de détente à regarder
seul ou accompagné et à partager avec vos amis. Vous vous retrouverez au
moins dans un des personnages ou un peu dans chacun.

Avant tout propos une présentation s’impose:
Antoine, interprété par François Chabert, fraichement divorcé, est un
personnage bourgeois, chrétien de bonne famille, donneur de bons
conseils, représente la sagesse dans ce trio. Sentimental et angoissé,
maladroit face à l’amour. Sa maladresse lui fait rater des opportunités,
il hésite entre morale et fantaisie.

Le personnage de Bibi, interprété par
Alexandra Michel, manque de confiance en elle, pour elle un homme ne
peut pas l’aimer, elle n’est pas assez bien pour ça, si il l’aime c’est
qu’il n’a pas encore découvert qu’elle n’en valait pas la peine. Elle
est comme une adolescente face aux premiers balbutiements de l’amour. Sa
collègue, Elodie semble être son mentor de l’amour, son guide du
«comment comprendre et réagir face aux hommes» mais ses conseils ne sont
pas des plus concluants, elle même se méprend sur les hommes et l’amour
en général. Bibi incarne quelques part la femme un peu faible,
dépendante en amour et de l’image d’elle même que lui renvoient les

Casimir, interprété par Laurent Jeanne est
un bout en train, protecteur, qui n’a peur de rien, toujours prêt à dire
oui pour n’importe quelles fantaisies, même si il doit pour cela se
retrouver dans des situations parfois délicates.

ABC est une série comédie où les personnages sont drôles et attachants il est difficile de ne pas y adhérer.

Nos trois compères n’en sont pas à leur
coup d’essai en tant que comédiens: théâtre, tv, cinéma, pub. Seul,
Laurent Jeanne ancien graphiste en packaging, s’est lancé dans la
comédie plus tardivement (à partir de 2005.) Il se lance tout d’abord
dans l’écriture et la mise en scène au coté de François Chabert avec «A
SUIVRE… Et ils eurent beaucoup d’enfants».

François Chabert alias Antoine a généreusement accepté de répondre à quelques questions.

Comment vous est venue l’idée d’ABC?

Tout a commencé lorsque François Chabert et
Laurent Jeanne donnaient un spectacle de café théâtre, «nous étions
trois au départ (deux hommes et une femme), j’avais l’intuition
d’internet pour moi il y avait quelque chose à faire, nous sommes partis
sur l’idée d’un trio puis nous nous sommes séparés. Plus tard le projet
a été relancé, avec comme idée un épisode par semaine ensuite la
machine s’est emballée» (avec trois épisodes par semaine). François
avait envie d’être à la fois acteur et réalisateur.

Comment a eu lieu votre rencontre?

«Je faisais les castings pour les candidats
du Bigdil (jeux télévisé), Laurent Jeanne s’est un jour présenté en
tant que candidat. Par la suite, il est venu à l’atelier théâtre que
j’animais». Très vite ils se sont aperçus qu’ils avaient beaucoup de
points communs (même école, originaires de la même ville, ont épousé le
même genre de femmes, ont tous deux deux enfants etc). La rencontre avec
Alexandra Michel s’est faite lors d’un salon organisé par l’agence de
communication «Com en boite» de François, où il avait fait appel pour
l’occasion à des hôtesses et comédiennes dont Alexandra faisait partie.

Quelles ont été vos difficultés face à cette aventure?

«Au départ les producteurs disaient que
c’était impossible». Cela n’a fait qu’accroitre leur motivation. Ils ont
alors décidé de se lancer seuls dans l’aventure. Comme tous projets de
cette envergure les difficultés ont principalement été liées au
financement, au montage et à la diffusion (exclusivement sur internet).

Quels sont les points positifs, négatifs dans le fait d’être à la fois acteurs et réalisateurs?

«En tant qu’acteur, le point positif a été
le fait de pouvoir rechercher la meilleure prise possible», il a
également écrit son propre personnage ce qui lui a permis de se prendre
au jeu, de s’en empreigner très rapidement. Du coté de la
co-réalisation, l’expérience n’a pas été vécue de la même façon, Laurent
Jeanne s’est tout de suite senti à l’aise dans son rôle de réalisateur.
François lui avait très envie d’être à la fois acteur et réalisateur.
Néanmoins il nous confie «je ne me suis pas donné la légitimité de
réalisateur», c’était une chose jusqu’alors inconnue pour lui. Il
ressentait plus celle du metteur en scène car il l’avait déjà été
auparavant mais la réalisation est toute autre. Il nous explique que
«l’intuition ne suffit pas, elle vient ensuite quand on sent plus les
choses». Cette légitimité de réalisateur lui est venue au fil du temps.
Au départ ils travaillaient sans storyboard, ils ont tout appris sur le
tas et comme dans tout travail d’équipe quelques tensions sont apparues.
Une co réalisation est toujours plus délicate rien que par le seul
principe que chaque réalisateur perçoit l’image selon (son propre
regard,) sa propre vision de chose.

Quel sentiment tirez-vous de cette expérience?

«Je suis très fier, pouvoir montrer aux
autres que c’est possible.» François en retire beaucoup de plaisir et de
bonheur malgré les difficultés. Notamment le plaisir artistique de
pouvoir mener ce projet de A à Z, le fait de de s’exprimer sans
contrainte ce qui aurait pu être différent si une société de production
les avait accompagnés.

Qu’est-ce que pour vous le cinéma indépendant?

«J’aime beaucoup le cinéma indépendant, je
fais parti du «rare» public à s’y intéresser. Il faut sortir du ghetto
intellectuel que le cinéma indépendant représente. L’idée qu’ont
certains réalisateurs d’apporter quelque chose de nouveau est trop
répandue». Il émet cependant quelques réserves face aux scénarios
français qui pour lui sont moins bons.



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About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

Hillier Scott



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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