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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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SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK: Lena Dunham

This week we’re spotlighting Lena Dunham, a New York filmmaker who has made her debut into mainstream cinema with her indie comedy “Tiny Furniture”.
(Image of Lena Dunham in the TV series “Girls”)

Lena Dunham seems to be the girl that everyone is talking about at the minute. She has recently released the critically acclaimed series “Girls”, which has hit the roof in popularity and gained fans worldwide.  The show is about a group of twenty-something year old girls who are clumsily making their way through life whilst trying to find their place in the world. It confronts typical issues such as boys, friendship and self-acceptance but in a stark way that seems new to our television screens. She has been called the Woody Allen of our generation and all this popularity began with the indie film Tiny Furniture.

Tiny Furniture is a semi-autobiographical indie comedy which was written, directed and produced by Lena Dunham who also stars as the main character. It follows the life of Aura, a post-graduate who has a useless film theory degree and 357 YouTube hits to her name. It highlights that directionless period between university and the working world which most post-graduates experience when it hits home that no one actually cares whether they’re good at writing essays. She finds herself unintentionally falling back into her pre-college lifestyle; moving back in with her parents; working her old job; and ultimately trying to figure things out.

(Image of Lena Dunham in “Tiny Furniture”)

Being a low-budget film it was set in Dunham’s family home, albeit an expansive loft in Manhattan, New York. Casting includes her real family and friends who play a somewhat similar role as they seem to in her real life. It stars her mother, the acclaimed photographer and artist Laurie Simmons and her sister Grace Dunham as Nadine. Similar to other indie productions it was shot using less than professional hardware (a Canon 7D), but the small budget and rookie equipment have not affected its execution.

It was at the South by Southwest festival where Dunham got her break. She went there in 2009 with a rough but encouraging feature film and met two people who would become producers of her new film Tiny Furniture. It celebrated its world premiere at the 2010 SXSW Festival, where it won the Jury Award for “Best Narrative Feature”. Dunham also won “Best First Screenplay” at the Independent Spirit Awards among other awards at various other festivals. Dunham has received a lot of recognition and praise for this film and it gives hope to indie filmmakers all over.

It was through Dunham’s talent, determination and wittiness that this film made it to the foreground of mainstream cinema. Although now the star of an HBO television series, Dunham started off making indie productions and had made various shorts before her rise to fame with Tiny Furniture. Dunham is a great supporter of indie productions “it was really incredible to meet filmmakers who [are] making small, independent but very thoughtful movies and these are a lot of the people that I work with”.

 

Faye Bullock

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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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