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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





"The Miraculous Tale of the Children Dubois" is the brainchild of writer/director Cassandra Lee Hamilton from Austin Texas. The film follows Juliette as she is helped to rediscover the magical world of her childhood by her twin brother Nikolia, who mysteriously and unexpectedly re-enters her life.

By Edward Caffrey


Q: What is  your film about?


The Miraculous Tale of the Children Dubois is about a young girl, Juliette, that has lost the magic of her childhood. When her twin brother, Nikolia, returns from the great beyond, he forces Juliette to make a choice between the practicality of normal life and the whimsy and enchantment of one's imagination.

Q: In your film you use a variety of different techniques, for example stop-motion, and what looks like digital compositing or CGI. Was it a difficult process?

YES! It was difficult! BUT absolutely worth it! I had an incredible time learning all of the different ways to make magic real. I knew that I wanted most of the special effects to be representational but seem real, so stop motion was my first choice. However, not everything can be made out of paper, yarn and clay, so for the other effects I worked with a very talented special effects team in order to design a tangible magical world, so most of the CGI are composited pictures of real things.

Q: Your film has a very distinctive style. Was this influenced by any other films?

While I was writing the film I was very much influenced by a lot of films from the Czech republic, such as Daisies by Vera Chytilova and Alice by Jan Svankmajer. However, ever since I was a child I have always know that I wanted to make films like Terry Gilliam. Adventures of Baron MunchausenTime Bandits, and Brazil constantly inspire me to be courageous and adventurous with my imagination and storytelling.

Q: Your characters live in their own magical world. Do you have your own magical world?

(hahah) Yes, it's called Austin Texas, but seriously, yes, I would have to say my bedroom would be the most magical world I have built. From bright Christmas lights and map covered walls, to forts, musical instruments and Hawaiian printed curtains, I always try to surround myself with creatively stimulating objects/colors/ideas/etc. Inspiration is random but we are all inspired by our surroundings.

Q: Tell us a bit about the casting process. How did you choose/meet your actors and actresses?

Well, I pretty much wrote each leading role with each actor already in my mind, Alana Morshead was a dear friend I met in film school and Morgan Krantz is one of my oldest friends who had a big hand in helping me develop the story. Jeff Fahey was a great supporter of mine through this project and had agreed to be in it, so when writing the script everything just came together perfectly. Usually when casting I try to use people in my life, friends or colleagues, because I have found when there is an established relationship, there is a freer atmosphere on set. It's very important to me that my set is safe and comfortable, a place where we can throw around ideas and have some fun whilst capturing the genuine nature of the human condition.

Q: Are you working on any new projects?

Currently I have been working on a screenplay, making music videos for local Austin musicians, making stopmotion short films, and what I am most excited about is a children's story-book that I have been writing that will be turned into a screenplay in the near future.


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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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