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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




ÉCU launch party at La Scopitone: Intern Spy

To celebrate this year’s ÉCU film festival, a launch party was held
at La Scopitone, Opera, where filmmakers, partners, and the french press
could meet the ÉCU team and get a taste of what is to come in two
weeks. An anonymous ÉCU team member (intern spy) documented the evening
surreptitiously mingling in the crowd whilst all the while jotting down
furtive notes on the events of the night. Here are some extracts:

6.30pm – Arrive at La Scopitone club and head down
the stairs. Intern spy enters the main room only to see Electrician on
the floor after suffering an electric shock. The lights are out, the
sound is dead, can we pull this off?!

7.30pm – Of course we can! Everything is fixed. Relief.

7.45pm – At least 4 ÉCU interns are already visibly
distressed. Sandwich canapés still appear to be frozen, and there is
much debate over separating the meat from the fish, for the sake of the
vegetarians (I have yet to meet a french veggie, but you never know).

8.00pm – Ten pizzas arrive. The mood lifts. Mad dash for pepperoni.

8.20pm – Pep talk from ÉCU President, apparently we
are like the Apple store and we will not be saying ‘Je ne sais pas’
tonight, I wonder if we’re all in for an iPad? Another talk by ÉCU
coordinator, but it’s hard to hear over all this chewing. But generally
we are going to awesome and mingle and get people excited about the

8.30pm – Arrival time for first VIP guests. Currently no VIP guests. Fashionably late.

9.00pm – Some guests are here! Intern spy practises
their networking technique with someone representing a very important
partner. Partner sincerely worried that Scott has not written his speech
yet, I assure them he has definitely got it under control. Scott walks
past hurriedly with a pen and paper. Intern spy smiles nervously.

9.15pm – Intern spy goes to chat with the girls at
the ticket reservation sofa. Even without wifi tickets will be on sale
tonight for all the early birds.

9.20pm – Sandwich update: triangles are now defrosted and being handed out most elegantly on platters.

9.30pm – The wine at the open bar is flowing freely.
Various comments overheard range from ‘deep-bodied’, ‘fruity’ and, as a
sign of the night ahead, ‘goes down easy.’ Intern spy has not heard
anyone say ‘Je ne sais pas’ yet, so maybe the wine is helping.

10.00pm – The first band come on stage. Both men are
wearing hats in an off-beat folky fashion. They are Michael Saranga
(both of them) and they sound like a french Jack Johnson. Projected
behind them during one of their most chilled-out songs is a trailer for
A. Hitler. I don’t think anyone expected that.

10.30pm – Time for Scott’s speech! Real excitement
in the crowd. A lot of shushing. Scott describes ÉCU as a filmmakers
festival that has no need for red carpets and limousines and even fits
in a jibe at the French. Good times. Teasers are projected onto the
screen which get the crowd going (I spotted at least 4 separate naked
female breasts) and also detailed trailers of the 5 french films in
competition. Scott ends the speech by thanking the team and showing the
short clip of our SUPER FUN PROFESSIONAL photo shoot which shows what
hip, wacky, and generally awesome people we are.

10.45pm - Reactions to Scott’s speech. Spy overhears
‘endearing’. ‘charming’ and ‘well, he came across quite well.’ (damning
with the faintest praise?) The overriding sentence of the night though
now seems to be ‘why has the free wine stopped and why did I have to pay
to put my sweater in the cloakroom?’

10.55pm – Young intern chats with student filmmakers
who ‘don’t really know what this is about, but we heard there was free
wine!’. Filmmakers are so off-beat and kooky aren’t they? Later on I
hear there was swearing during ÉCU interviews – woah, hardcore.

11.00pm – Tiffany Berton performs with a man wearing
a delightful bow tie. Her sultry, sensual numbers aren’t really for
dancing but she is very good. Intern spy would like to note at this
point that the hippest crowd ever are now gathered in La Scopitone, it’s
all red lipstick, asymmetric fringes and vintage clothing, daaaahling.

11.30pm – The bar is still the busiest area in the
club. All languages being spoken and a huge variety of over enthusiastic

12.00am – 90 minutes behind schedule and the final
band still haven’t played. But the lead guitarist is female and looks
awesome. So that’s enough for Intern Spy.

12.00am-03.00am – Intern spy can not publish the
events that happened between these hours. Suffice to say there were more
free drinks, awkward white-people dance moves (‘look like you don’t
care’, shouted one embarrassed french guest), grapplings on sofas,
interns hounding guests with cameras like paparazzi and one dedicated
group singing Queen songs well into the early hours.

All in all the evening was a great success and everyone seemed to be
having a lot of fun. High hopes for the festival in couple of days.


La Fête d’Inauguration d’ÉCU: Espion Interne

Pour célébrer le festival ÉCU de cette année, une fête d’inauguration
a été tenue à la Scopitone, Opéra, ou les réalisateurs, partenaires, et
la presse française pouvaient rencontrer l’équipe ÉCU et avoir une
avant première de ce qui arrive dans deux semaines. Un membre de
l’équipe anonyme (espion interne) a documenté la soirée en se mélangeant
subrepticement a la foule tout en prenant des notes furtives sur les
événements de la soirée. En voici certains extraits :

18 : 30 – Arrivée à la Scopitone et descends les
escaliers. Espion interne entre dans la salle principale et ne voit que
l’électricien allongé sur le sol après avoir eu un gros coup de jus. Les
lumières sont éteintes, il n’y a pas de son, est-ce qu’on va réussir ?

19 : 30 – Bien sûr qu’on peut ! Tout est réparé. Soulagé.

19 : 45 – Au moins 4 internes ÉCU sont visiblement
stressés. Les sandwichs ont l’air d’être gelés, et il y a beaucoup de
débat à propos de la séparation du poisson et de la viande, pour les
végétariens (je n’ai jamais rencontré de frenchy végétarien, mais bon…)

20: 00 – Dix pizzas arrivent, le moral monte, ruée vers les pepperonis

20 : 20 – Discours encouragent du président d’ÉCU,
apparemment on est comme le magasin Apple et on ne dira pas « je ne sais
pas » ce soir, je me demande si le but de ce soir et de recevoir un
Ipad ? Un autre discours par un responsable d’ÉCU, mais on a du mal à
entendre avec le bruit des gens qui mâchent. Mais en règle générale on
va être super et se mêler à la foule et enthousiasmer les gens pour le

20 : 30 – l’heure d’arrivée des premiers invités VIP. Pour l’instant il y en a aucun. Retard distingué.

21 : 00 – Il y a des invités ! Espion interne
applique ses techniques de networking avec quelqu’un qui représente un
partenaire très important. Le partenaire en question s’inquiète beaucoup
du fait que Scott n’ai pas encore écrit son discours, je le rassure que
tout est sous control. Scott passe devant nous rapidement avec une
feuille et un stylo. Espion interne souris nerveusement.

21 : 15 – Espion interne va parler avec les filles
sur le canapé ou on réserve les tickets. Même sans wifi des tickets
seront vendus pour les plus rapides.

21 : 20 – Mise à jour sandwich : les triangles sont maintenant dégelés et sont distribués avec élégance sur des plateaux.

21 : 30 – Le vin à l’open bar coule à flots. Des
commentaires entendus ici et là vont de « il a du corps », « fruité »
et, comme un signe de la nuit qui vient, « se laisse boire ». Espion
internet n’a entendue personne dire « je ne sais pas » pour l’instant,
peut être que le vin aide.

22 :00 – Le premier groupe monte sur scène. Les deux
hommes ont des chapeaux à la mode folk un peu décalé. Ils sont Michael
Saranga (les deux) et ils ressemblent à un Jack Johnson français.
Pendant leur chanson la plus calme est projeté un extrait d’A. Hitler.
Je pense que personne ne s’y attendais.

22 : 30 – C’est l’heure du
discours de Scott ! Il y une certaine excitation qui traverse la foule.
Il y beaucoup de « chut ! ». Scott décrit ÉCU comme un festival de
réalisateurs qui n’a pas besoin de tapis rouges ni de limousine et
arrive même à placer une blague sur les français. Quel bon souvenir. Des
teasers sont projetés, ce qui mets vraiment l’ambiance (j’ai remarqué
au moins 4 seins différents) et aussi des extraits détaillés des 5 films
français dans la compétition. Scott finis son discours en remerciant
l’équipe et en montrant le petit film de notre photo shoot SUPER FUN ET
PROFESSIONNELLE qui montre les gens à la mode, bizarres et dans
l’ensemble géniaux que nous sommes.

22 : 45 – Réactions au discours. Espion Internet
entends « attachant », « charmant » et « et bien, il s’en est bien
sortis». Pourtant, la phrase de la soirée à l’air de s’être transformé,
c’est maintenant « pourquoi le vin gratuit s’est arrêté et pourquoi j’ai
dû payer pour mettre mon pull dans le vestiaire?

22 : 55 – Le jeune espion parle avec des étudiants
de cinéma qui « savent pas trop ce que c’est mais on m’a dit qu’il y
avait du vin gratuit ! ». Ils sont tellement originaux et décalés ces
réalisateurs n’est ce pas ? Plus tard j’ai entendu qu’il y avait eu des
gros mots pendant une interview d’ÉCU. Houlà, hardcore.

23 : 00 – Tiffany Berton chante avec un homme
portant un nœud papillon exquis. Ses morceaux sensuels et séduisants ne
sont vraiment faits pour danser, mais elle est très forte. L’espion
interne voudrait faire remarquer que c’est la foule la plus branchée qui
soit qui est maintenant réunie à La Scopitone, c’est du rouge à lèvres
vraiment rouge, des franges asymétriques et des habits vintages, ma

23 : 30 – Le bar est toujours l’endroit le plus
occupé. Toutes les langues sont parlées et on trouve une énorme variété
de gesticulations surexcités.

00: 00 – 1 heure et demie en retard et le dernier
groupe n’a toujours pas joué. Mais la guitariste principale est une
femme et est magnifique. Donc ça suffit pour l’espion.

00: 00 – 03 : 00 – L’espion ne peut pas divulguer ce
qui s’est passé pendant ce temps. On dira simplement qu’il y a encore
plus de boissons gratuites, des danses gênantes de blancs (comme a dit
un invité français embarrassé : « fais comme si tu t’en fous ! »), des
confrontations sur le canapé, des stagiaires bombardant les invités de
photos avec acharnement comme des paparazzis, et un groupe dévoué qui a
chanté du Queen jusqu’à l’aube.

Quoi qu’il en soit la soirée à été une réussite et tout le monde
avait l’air de bien s’amuser. De grandes espérances pour le festival
dans quelques jours.


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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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