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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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Call for Submissions - ÉCU 2014

 

SUBMISSIONS FOR ÉCU 2014 ARE NOW OPEN!

**2014 Festival Dates – 4th, 5th, 6th April**

Stories are created every day, imagined or real, and the world is in need of a good story. Character-driven, plot-driven, or just plain driven, ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival continually searches for the most talented storytellers and cinematic visionaries that make their stories a reality.

Through this dedicated quest and passion for independent cinema, ÉCU prides itself on being one of Europe’s essential events for independent films. This stems from the festival's unyielding belief in its filmmakers and their artistic efforts.

ÉCU 2014 will take place in Paris, France through April 4,5,6 2013.

 

European Dramatic Feature

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. This category is open to all European feature films made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 



Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

Previous winners include ‘Girl Shaped Love Drug’ (UK), ‘Women and Children’ (UK), ‘The Happy Housewife’ (Netherlands); many past entrants have gone on to secure distribution deals.

“We're really pleased by the response ‘Girl Shaped Love Drug’ received at ÉCU, we couldn't have asked for a more positive and more encouraging reception for the film!” 
- Vikas Shah, ‘Girl Shaped Love Drug’, winner of ÉCU 2013

European Dramatic Short

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all European short films made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 



Previous winners in this category include ‘82’ (UK), ‘Das Paket’ (Germany), ‘April Chill’ (Georgia), ‘Corner Shop’ (UK); many category entrants have gone on to secure distribution deals. 

Running time cannot exceed 30 minutes.

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

“I wanted to give a massive thank you to all of you at The European Independent Film Festival. Such a dedicated team of lovely, kind and patient people -- all coming together for a good common. Ultimately, it was an honor just to be screened alongside such fabulous, thought-provoking and thoughtfully chosen exciting films.”
- George Hamilton, Director of ‘Corner Shop’, winner of ÉCU 2012

European Documentary

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all European documentaries made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 



Previous winners in this category include ‘Moving Gracefully Towards the Exit’ (France), ‘M Ferma’ (Latvia), ‘Problema: Who Are We in the 21st Century’ (Germany); many category entrants have secured distribution deals.

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

“I would like to thank you for this wonderful weekend full of new experiences and film watching. The festival team provided a great, creative and welcoming atmosphere. It was wonderful to meet so many interesting and creative personalities all together. I would like to thank you for appreciating my work and efforts!”
- Rita Broka, Director of ‘M Ferma’, winner of ÉCU 2012

European Animated Film

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all European animated work in the moving image field (can include web pages) made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 

Past winners include ‘I Am Tom Moody’ (UK), ‘A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensations’ (Germany), ‘Paths of Hate’ (Poland); many entrants in this category have gone on to secure distribution deals.

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

European Experimental Film

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all European work in the moving image field that can be deemed experimental made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 

Previous winners include ‘Kore’ (France), ‘Achante’ (UK), ‘Invertebrate’ (UK), ‘Candy Darling’ (Belgium); several past entrants have gone on to secure distribution deals.

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it.

Student Film

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all European and non-European student films made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 

Previous winners include ‘Martha Must Fly’ (Israel), ‘Callum’ (UK), ‘Stanley Pickle’ (UK); many category entrants have gone on to secure distribution deals. 

NOTE: Entrants in this category will ONLY be eligible for the Best Student Film Award. 

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

“We found all of your staff to be incredibly friendly and accommodating. Personally, I felt very welcome and at ease. I greatly enjoyed the Q&A's and was glad to have the chance to meet with and talk to Scott about my film. I couldn't have asked for a better environment in which to showcase my work.”
- Michael van der Put, Director of ‘Callum’, winner of ÉCU 2012

Non-European Dramatic Feature

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all non-European feature films made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 

Previous winners include ‘Motivational Growth’ (USA), ‘The Forest is Red’ (USA), ‘The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce’ (Australia); many past entrants in this category have gone on to secure distribution deals.

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

“I wanted to thank the festival very much for a tremendous weekend. It was a delightfully fun, inspiring and a thought-provoking experience. I am glad that I was a part of it.” - David Jakubovic, Director of ‘The Forest is Red’, winner of ÉCU 2012

Non-European Dramatic Short

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all non-European short films made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 

Previous winners include ‘Buzkashi Boys’ (USA / Afghanistan) ‘Paul’ (Israel), ‘The Miraculous Tale of the Children Dubois’ (USA); many past entrants in this category have gone on to secure distribution deals. 

Running time cannot exceed 30 minutes.

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

“This is about the opposite spectrum. ÉCU is about independent work -- it is not about making your film in big studios. These are concepts that would never be tried outside of independent filmmaking and these are the things that I keep experiencing here every year and that is what sparks me about it -- such unusual projects.”
- Alan Arrivee, winner of ÉCU 2007 and jury member for ÉCU 2009 - 2013

Non-European Documentary

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all non-European documentaries made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 

Previous winners include ‘Cavedigger’ (USA), ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ (Australia), ‘Salam Rugby’ (New Zealand), ‘Dhobi Ghaat’ (Pakistan); many past entrants have gone on to secure distribution deals.

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

Much More than a Script Competition

We at ÉCU understand that for many talented writers - especially those without representation - it is difficult getting scripts read by the people that matter: directors, producers and heads of development. 

That’s why we decided to launch ÉCU's Much More than a Script Competition back in 2009.

We will read scripts in English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian before making an official selection of the very best. 

Previous winners include ‘This Vehicle Has Been Checked for Sleeping Children’ by John Burdeaux (USA), ‘The Last Waltz of Vienna’ by Brian Weakland (USA)

The two overall winners will receive an additional prize and the coveted title of Best European Feature Script / Best Short Script 2014 – a title we are certain will help emerging writers overcome the obstacle of “representation” and get their scripts read by the right people.

European Music Video

Videos should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all European independent music videos. The video's budget cannot have been funded more then 50% by a record company or music publishing entity. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission.

Previous winners include ‘I’ve Only Just Begun’ (Finland), ‘House’ (UK).

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

“I was very happy with ÉCU. Thank you to the ÉCU team for making it so much fun and such a great atmosphere!”
- Prano Bailey-Bond, Director of ‘House’, winner of ÉCU 2012

European Youth Film

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. This category is open to films produced by European filmmakers between the ages 8 to 16. 
 Films may be submitted in any language however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

**IMPORTANT: Youth films must be made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster.**

ÉCU Firsts

This category is open to all candidates who have created their FIRST EVER short film AND made after May 2012. ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival will waive the submission fee and guarantees a screening of the first ever made film in the festival's special ÉCU FIRSTS screening area. For this to happen, candidates must attend the festival, reserve screening times and have an audience of at least 10 people.



ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival is giving first-time filmmakers an opportunity to show their films for free in Paris, France during the time of the festival. This opportunity is only available to 100 first-time filmmakers. Please submit as quickly as possible to be considered. Subtitles in English and French if the film is in English would be helpful to get as many viewers as possible to attend our screening. 

Please be aware that the ÉCU FIRSTS category has NO AWARD and the films participating in this category are not considered to be a part of ÉCU's "Official Selection." While the festival will able to help publicize all the films considered in ÉCU FIRSTS category, filmmakers will need to be the primary source of publicity to get the required number of audience members to the screening. 

European Comedy Film

Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. This category is open to all European comedies made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

“It was a huge honor winning the best comedy award, especially given the quality of the other films in my category, and all the more special as I was fortunate enough to have been able to spend the whole weekend in Paris with the other filmmakers and all the lovely staff who do such a great job there. It's also been a huge boost for me professionally and I’m working hard with the writer on our first feature off the back of the win.”
- Ben Mallaby, Director of ‘Island Queen’, winner of ÉCU 2013

Arab Special Section

In its 9th edition, ÉCU is happy for the second year in the row to highlight independent Arab filmmakers, competing for The Ahmed Khedr Award for Excellence in Arab Filmmaking. The winner of this “Special Section,” will receive an award for their outstanding creative efforts dedicated to the memory of the late Ahmed Khedr, a talented director and good friend of the festival.
Films should be independent in spirit, original in perspective and made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however must have subtitles in English except if the film is in English it must have French subtitles. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure accurate judging abilities. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are required upon submission. 

Being able to use parts of the film or having a trailer/preview of the film would be helpful for promotional purposes within the festival and our events leading up to it. 

Previous winners include ‘ A Tempo : 3rd Act’ by Maria Abdel Karim (Lebanon)

MISSION & OBJECTIVE 
ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of the very best independent films from around the world.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
ÉCU has firmly established itself on the global film festival circuit and prides itself on being a filmmakers festival. As such, we are a community that fosters innovation, creativity and the great desire to further the careers and artistic paths of our participating directors. Our festival allows these independent filmmakers to expose their work to the cinema-loving public who are actively seeking alternatives to commercial-hungry major studio projects.

ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival has been expanding its presence and geographical breath ever since its debut in 2006. Now heading into its 9th edition, the festival has excitedly become known as Europe's answer to the Sundance Film Festival. 

Annually held in the early spring in Paris, France, ÉCU proudly showcases more than 100 independent films from around the globe. More than 50 countries contribute their work and although the festival recognizes European talent, there are categories made available for overseas filmmakers from the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Australia. 

Throughout the festival, ÉCU offers a range of workshops all taught by industry professionals. Q&A's are held after every screening session allowing filmmakers to discuss their work and interact with their audience who are made up of industry representatives, producers, agents, the general public and others. Also, through ÉCU's reputation and available networking opportunities, the festival is always an attractive venue for prospecting films buyers, producers and talent spotters who are looking for new and ingenious filmmaking talent. 

ÉCU continues even after its three day event in Paris. Following the conclusion of the festival, ÉCU goes on a world tour called ÉCU-on-the-Road. This is in thanks to over 60 partner festivals. The tour provides filmmakers an invaluable opportunity to promote and screen their films not only at the ÉCU festival in Paris, but to a larger and more diverse international audience, as well. 

Last year, ÉCU showcased its award- winning films in 20 countries around the world at a range of events, including special mini-festivals, partner festivals, cultural institutions and film schools. By expanding our filmmakers reach, ÉCU is able to maintain and solidify its reputation as a "filmmaker's festival." The road series uniquely attracts audience members and creates global exposure for ÉCU and its films.

In a special addition to last year's tour, ÉCU had an amazing three day, special festival in Amman, Jordan. The event was made possible through the support of The Royal Film Commission of Jordan and was a huge success. ÉCU also held a special event in Beijing, China and was part of festivals in Egypt, Italy, Russia, Romania and other countries.

Award-winning film editor and past ÉCU judge, Franco Pistillo, says:

"Every year the Sundance Film Festival brings attention to American independent filmmakers. ÉCU gives the same opportunities to the hundreds of European filmmakers who make incredible films, but fly below the radar of festivals like Cannes, Venice and Berlin."

Scott Hillier, ÉCU Founder and Festival President, is himself an award-winning filmmaker. His passion and devotion in independent filmmaking is clearly made visible through the work and he put into the festival. 

"It is a fact that independent filmmakers in Europe rarely get attention outside of their respective countries. ÉCU gives those filmmakers a chance to tell their stories on an arena where they can thrive," affirms Hillier. 

Films are judged in 15 categories, seven of which are open to non-European filmmakers from the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Australia and compete for 25 awards. Prizes range from year to year, but are donated by partners like Lomography, Golla, Red Giant, London Film Acadeny, Prague Film School and others.

For more detailed information regarding ÉCU, please visit our website at www.ecufilmfestival.com or email us directly at info@ecufilmfestival.com.

 

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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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