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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 14th edition of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival will take place in Paris, France in 5th, 6th and 7th of April, 2019.
 
For more details regarding the festival, please visit our website at www.ecufilmfestival.com

 

 


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Russian Ark

by Yann-Yves

A few weeks ago, Russian director Alexander Sokurov came to the Forum
des Images to present a short documentary and his feature film Russian
Ark, in honor of the program dedicated to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

One of the many elements that the filmmaker spoke about in his master
class was the idea that there were no more great masters. According to
him, many people work in film and in media today, but most of them don’t
have a background or understanding of the art form – or art in general.
That comment cannot be taken lightly by an aspiring filmmaker or
artist, especially when coming from a successful person from the milieu.

His respect for the great masters is clearly seen in his journey
through the corridors of the Hermitage museum (where he shot the
entirety of Russian Ark), one of the largest and most prestigious
museums in the world. He admitted, in front of the irritable
interviewer, that he often went to the Hermitage to pay his respects to
his masters, like a student visiting his most admirable professor – and
not simply seeing them like a tourist looking at a landmark that gets
crossed off a list.

One of the lessons that I gained from this master class was his
impression that you learn from the masters, and generate your own
thoughts and conclusions by looking at their artwork closely. According
to him this is what our generation lacked.

As I see it, the ability to become a great master is in part to have
the great knowledge of the medium in question, as well as of other
mediums, in order to formulate something new. This “new” project is not
necessarily based on the past, but the artist uses a familiar know how
or experience to create it.

But is the master alone in filmmaking? Is a great story or idea
simply great for being issued by one person, or is it the contribution
from others working on the project that makes them greater? This is an
important question in Filmmaking because a collaborative aspect is
essential to the process. In other art forms, one person alone can
create the entirety of the process.

And is the master’s idea original or the fruit of another seed? The
idea of knowing what comes before, and being inspired by it, is clearly
visible in some of the contemporary filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese –
who has an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema and clearly references his
masters. But is that what standing on the shoulders of others is?
Reference, pastiche and puns? Are these the tools that filmmakers, or
artists in general, use to create nowadays? Shouldn’t it rather be an
examination of the work, a personal reinterpretation and then a new
creation? Is this what it takes to become a great master?

Standing on the shoulders of giants is what our generation and newer
artists will continue to do. Nonetheless, getting acquainted with the
giants and, more importantly, their work (or even eventually becoming
one) renders some, like Sokurov, skeptical about the future of Art.

 

//////

 

L’Arche Russe

Il y a quelques semaines, le réalisateur russe Alexandre Sokourov est
venu présenter au Forum des Images un court documentaire et son
long-métrage L’Arche russe, dans la cadre du programme dédié à Moscou et
Saint-Pétersbourg.

Parmi les nombreux sujets abordés lors de cette master class, le
principal concernait le declin des grands maîtres. Selon lui, beaucoup
de gens travaillent dans le cinéma et les médias, mais la plupart
d’entre eux manquent de formation et de compréhension dans le domaine
artistique. Une telle déclaration, surtout provenant d’un professionnel
si reconnu, ne peut pas être prise à la légère par un cinéaste ou un
artiste amateur.

Le respect qu’il voue aux grands maîtres est particulièrement évident
dans sa promenade le long des couloirs du musée de l’Hermitage. L’Arche
Russe a entièrement été tourné dans ce musée, qui est l’un des plus
prestigieux du monde. Le realisateur a répondu à un interlocuteur irrité
qu’il se rendait souvent à l’Hermitage en hommage à ses maîtres, tel un
étudiant rendant visite à ses professeurs les plus admirables, et non
simplement comme un touriste impatient de cocher une attraction de plus
sur sa liste.

L’une des leçons que j’ai tirée de cette master class, c’est l’idée
que les maîtres ont beaucoup à nous apprendre, et que c’est en observant
attentivement leurs oeuvres que nous concevons des idées et tirons des
conclusions. À ses yeux, tout cela manque à notre génération.

Selon moi, la capacité de devenir soi-même un grand maître tient de
la connaissance qu’on a de la forme artistique en question, ainsi que
d’autres arts, afin de formuler quelque chose de nouveau. Ce « nouveau »
projet n’est pas nécessairement fondé sur le passé, mais il exige que
l’artiste ait recours à un savoir-faire ou une expérience qui lui
pré-existent.

Mais le maître réalise-t-il son film seul ? Une idée ou une histoire
géniales doivent-elles leurs qualités à une seule personne, ou est-ce la
contribution d’autres personnes qui rend le projet encore meilleur ?
C’est une question qui compte dans la réalisation, car la collaboration
est un aspect fondamental de ce processus, alors que pour certaines
formes artistiques, une personne peut réaliser son oeuvre toute seule.

L’idée du maître est-elle authentique et originale, ou est-elle le
fruit d’autres influences ? L’idée de connaître ses prédécesseurs et de
s’en inspirer est visible chez des réalisateurs comme Martin Scorsese,
qui sait tout sur le cinéma et fait souvent référence à ses maîtres.
Mais est-ce bien cela être juché sur les épaules d’un géant ? Allusions,
pastiches et jeux de mots ? Est-ce que ce sont vraiment des outils
qu’emploient de nos jours les réalisateurs et les artistes en général ?
Ne serait-ce pas plutôt un examen de l’oeuvre, qui mène à une
réinterprétation personnelle, puis à une création nouvelle ? Est-ce
ainsi que l’on devient maître à son tour ?

Les prochaines générations d’artistes resteront juchées sur les
épaules de géants. Cependant, bien connaître les oeuvres de ces
derniers, avant d’en devenir un soi-même, pousse certains à douter de
l’avenir de l’art.

 

 

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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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