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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




2011 In The Palace Festival Draws Talent from 5 Continents

By Alexander Acosta Osorio

The ninth edition of In The Palace International Short Film Festival,
held from June 18-25 in Balchik, Bulgaria, brought together more than
150 filmmakers from five continents.
Cinematographers from South and North America, Europe, Asia, and North
Africa presented work in four categories: fiction, animation,
experimental, and documentary. Their films were judged by a panel of
notable filmmakers, journalists, and industry representatives from the
United States, Romania, Croatia, Russia and Bulgaria.

Besides film screenings, the festival ran a series of workshops
related to the state of the industry such as the international media
conference and the “Aspects of Success” lecture by Gregg Helvey,
director and producer of Kavi, an Academy Award winner for best student
short film and a story examining modern-day slavery. Helvey talked about
his personal experience in the process of making a successful film and
shared useful tips on how to approach film production, funding,
marketing, and distribution.

Filmmakers and industry professionals also had the opportunity to
attend a session that tried to match producers and filmmakers, as well
as several Q&A sessions with those directly involved in the
production process of the short films.

Jury member Linda Olszewski, Vice President of Acquisitions of Shorts
Entertainment Networks for the Oscars, held a workshop on the “Power of
Film” where filmmakers had the opportunity to discuss topics ranging
from funding, festivals, and distribution, to ways to qualify a film for
Academy Award consideration.

Sandi Sissel, a distinguished cinematographer who heads New York
University’s graduate film program, was another jury member whose
extensive experience in film, television, and documentary includes
various awards for coverage of the war in Vietnam and work she did for
NBC and ABC, Saturday Night Life and 60 minutes.

“The way I feel about international films is that we all can have a
common bond because you can see the human experience from every single
country,” mentioned Sissel.

Among the shorts in the competition was a modern-day adaptation of
the Medusa myth, Red in the Water by Mikel Gurrea, a young director from
San Sebastian, Spain. The Extraordinary Life of Rocky by Belgian
filmmaker Kevin Meul was among the audience’s favorites for its dark
humor and clever story. Another Belgian, Wim Geudens, won the award for
best script and sound with his Beats of Love, a story about a man in
search of sounds to conquer the heart of his dream woman.

From student shorts to more serious films, each one explored common
themes: from conflict and tragedy (3 Hours Regan Hall,) the passage of
time (Minute 200 Frank Benitez,) identity deconstruction (3sai Paul
Emmanuel) to the psychological (Nulepsy Jessica Rinland) and the
imaginary (out of erasers Erik Rosenlund), while documentaries explored
real characters up close (Mother Jakub Piatek, Caught Between Two Worlds
Viktor Nagi, and A Balkan Rhapsody Tatyana Mircheva).

An ÉCU representative attended the 2011 edition of the festival in
order to share information, experiences and forge partnerships.

ÉCU shared the stage with organizations from Russia, Germany, and
Finland in the festival’s market sessions where different
representatives of the industry gathered to share information and
promote partnerships between organizations and other festivals.

Different voices of love, hate, loss, the absurd, and exploration of
the human condition were frequent themes present at the In The Palace
festival, offering viewers and filmmakers a rich and varied program for
all tastes.


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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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