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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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Mike Beck and Access Film Music: The Festival Soundtrack

by Robert Barry

Mike Beck is a big bearded, shaggy-haired bear of a man. A full-time musician since 2001, as frontman to Chicago Mike’s InterGalactic Brother and Sisterhood of Big Eyed Beanshe spends four or five months of the year touring in Europe, playing some 250 gigs a year. Meanwhile, “between gigs, or while I’m travelling and when I’m not otherwise performing”, Mike runs Access Film Music, an organisation dedicated to bringing film people and music people together which has been providing the live music for the after-parties and film-makers’ marquee at ÉCU festival this year and for the last three years. Somehow, in amongst all this, Mike found time to meet up with me for a quick chat over a plate of shawarma at a kebab shop in Paris, just a stone’s throw from the festival’s main cinema, the Sept Parnassiens.

“There’s a creative renaissance going on right now in film and music,” Mike insists, and it’s his job to make these two parallel fields of talent come together and work harmoniously together. “We want to help film-makers find music for their films, which can be a very difficult or sometimes expensive process.” At the same time, Access Film Music’s mission is educational, teaching young directors “to recognise that it’s important to licence the music properly, that a film-maker who goes ahead and uses songs from the radio or from their CD collection can run into big problems” because if your film does start to get recognised and starts to go places, a soundtrack that isn’t properly licensed can lead to big problems, forcing you to re-cut the whole film before the distributors start running a mile. “That can either slow down a production – or end it all together.”

Access Film Music’s relationship with ÉCU started four years ago, at the International Film Festival Summit, a two-day event in Paris, where Mike met some of the heads of the biggest film festivals in the world. Then, “on the second day, about fifteen minutes before it was over, this guy comes up to me and says, hi, everybody tells me I need to talk to you – and it turned out to be Scott Hillier.” Scott said, “We’re film people, we’re not music people. We want some help creating a larger feature of music for the film festival. Let’s start working together” and Access Film Music and ÉCU Film Festival have been working together ever since.

“It’s always just an amazing awakening whenever I come to ÉCU for the film festival, ” Mike says. “I arrive very stressed and anxious and worried and then magical things unfold and I realise how amazingly blessed I am.” Here at ÉCU, we’re all looking forward to many more years enjoying the music of Mike Beck’s global network of collaborators – the perfect soundtrack to the festival.

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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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