PHABRIK Magazine

Exclusive Weekend in Paris

By Angela Jelicic

June 2014

A unique and interactive experience for you to get close to independent filmmakers not only to enjoy their aspiring work but to get up front and personal with them and industry professionals. Make Paris your first stop for the European Independent Film Festival [ECU]. The 7th Annual event is set to launch April 1 – 3, 2011. This year’s line up has some amazing offerings for you such as Damian Nenow’s, “Paths of Hate”, a powerful short animated film about the demons that slumber deep in the human soul and have the power to push people into the abyss of blind hate, fury and rag,” states the press info or the delightful, “Scottish Bob”, by Director Darren McFarlane, an entry competing in the new ECU category of Non-European Short Films.

President and Founder of ECU, Scott Hillier declares that, “The European Independent Film Festival (ÉCU) has established itself as a fantastic arena for independent filmmakers from around the world to screen their films to large audiences made up of a cinema-loving public who are seeking alternatives to the offerings of major studios, as well as to agents, talent scouts, production company representatives, distributors and established producers looking for new projects and raw talent. Of course several hundred independent filmmakers from around the world will be in Paris to participate in the ÉCU.” Hillier founded the prestigious event in 2006 as “Europe’s answer to the Sundance Festival.” Hillier, hailing originally from Australia, has a string of professional credits in his long career in the film industry, and most formidably his work as director of photography on the Academy Award winning documentary, “Twin Towers”.

The exciting part for festival goers in addition to seeing some of the most cutting edge work is the chance to participate in workshops, screenwriting labs and discussion panels. Unlike the Academy Awards and other high end functions, ECU allows attendees to get up front and personal with filmmakers. “I thought it was really great the way it started, cramming all the directors onto a boat and forcing us all to meet each other. So often at festivals you don’t really do that, by the last day you sort of know people but here [at ECU] it is different,” comments Josephine Mackerras, director of “Diva”. “I just thought that was brilliant. I’ve met a lot of people who are from other places in the world…it’s sort of a global community…I’d highly recommend this festival!”

The 2011 Official Selection will “showcase the very best independent films from around the world,” says Eva Bearryman, assistant English language editor. All submissions will compete in 12 categories including features, shorts, documentaries, animation, music videos and experimental films. “While ÉCU’s goal is to bring worldwide attention to European independent filmmakers, there are also four foreign categories open to independent filmmakers from the Americas, Africa and Asia,” says Hillier. One lucky winner will walk away acclaimed as Europe’s Best Independent Film.

The event will be held at Cinema 7 Parnassiens, a cultural extravaganza in the heart of Paris. A fantastic location in a beautiful city, in spring, at a world renowned festival! Hope you can make it for a truly extraordinary experience.

You can check out submissions at or visit the festival site at

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