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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




Our Paris Series Part VII: Return to the Latin Quarter



By Sophie Nellis


Is it a yo yo? Is it a thermometer? No, it’s the…Pantheon


you visit the Pantheon, you will undoubtedly marvel at its enormity but
you may also ask yourself, “What is it?” This is a good question, and
one that has long puzzled both tourists and the French. Built under
Louis XV in the 17
century, it was intended to be a church dedicated to one of Paris’
patron saints, Saint Geneviève.  Unfortunately, it was finished on the
eve of the Revolution, and as the Revolutionaries had the habit of
either wrecking churches or using them for other purposes, the Church
of Saint Genevieve became the Pantheon, a Temple dedicated to the Great
Men of France.



The Pantheon

For the next century, the Pantheon yo-yo-ed back and forth between Church and mausoleum, until the Third Republic
drew the line in 1873 and decided it was going to remain a
mausoleum. As one commentator said, “It’s not a monument, it’s a
thermometer”. The remains of all the big names are to be found in here,
including Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, the Resistance hero Jean Moulin, and
– the only Great Woman to be interred here – Marie Curie.


Les Jardins du Luxembourg

Just down the road from the Pantheon are the pretty Jardins du Luxembourg.Modelled on the Boboli Gardens in Florence and dotted with 19th
century pavilions, this is one of the nicest parks in Paris. Especially
for children, who can play in the playground, ride donkeys and rent
boats to sail on the central pond.



Les Jardins du Luxembourg

this has long been a favourite of the Parisian cultural elite. Both
Balzac and Victor Hugo liked to stroll around the gardens, Hemingway
claimed to have shot pigeons here when he was low on funds and looking
for something to eat, and Simone de Beauvoir used to play here as a
child. You know where to come if you’re looking for literary


Shakespeare and Co.

(37 rue de la Bûcherie, 5th)

anyone interested in the literary history of Paris, a visit to this
famous bookshop is essential. Set up by Sylvia Beach in the 1919,
Shakespeare & Co. was frequented by all the great Anglo-American
writers who lived in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, including Ezra
Pound, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S Eliot, Samuel Beckett
and, most famously, James Joyce.






Shakespeare & Co.


the 1950s, Shakespeare and Co. has been run by George Whitman and any
wannabe-writers or literature enthusiasts are allowed to stay in the
rooms upstairs providing that they work in the shop for a couple of
hours per day. It’s a wonderfully ramshackle place, full of literary
types browsing through the books and soaking up the atmosphere. Myself
included. Seeing my swoons, my now-ex-but-still-French boyfriend
remarked that Shakespeare and Co. was the perfect place
pour drageur les anglaises (picking up English girls). Book lovers beware.



The Mosque

(2 Place du Puits de l’Ermite, 5th)

in the 1920s, La Grande Mosquée de Paris was, in part, a means of
thanking the North African troops who had fought for France during
WW1.  Decorated with mosaics, it’s a beautiful building that resembles
many of the mosques in Marrakesh. As well as taking a tour of the
building, visitors can relax in the hammam and enjoy sweet mint tea and
an array of North African pastries in the café.





The Grande Mosquée de Paris



Studenty chic…Place de la Contrescarpe

of the Latin Quarter’s most picturesque squares, paved with
cobblestones and with a fountain in the centre. There are a number of
cafés surrounding the square and this is a lovely place to sit with a
glace of wine and do a bit of people spotting. There’s a lively
atmosphere, mostly thanks to the students who come here from the nearby
Sorbonne. Last time I was at Place de la Contrescarpe there were




Place de la Contrescarpe


One of the roads leading off from the square is Rue Mouffetard
– one of the oldest market streets in Paris. Although there are now a
number of rather touristy cafés and restaurants on Rue Mouffetard,
towards the bottom you can still find traditional market shops selling
cheese, fruit and vegetables, and wine. Fans of Juliette Binoche will
no doubt remember that this area was the setting of
Krystof Kieslowski’s Trois Couleurs: Bleu. A lovely street for a stroll.


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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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