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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




Crowd-funding - a Case Study "Postcards from Paris"

Andrew Shermin shares his experience of making a film and using crowdfunding.

This summer I shot a documentary about Paris that I produced myself, and am now trying to use crowd-funding to finish it.
The concept was simple: a vision of Paris that was taken straight from reality, just a camera and a tripod on the street, offering a vision of the city that both confirms and subverts the fantasy of Paris that different media create. The images are like “moving postcards.”
I was able to shoot everything with my own resources, but when it came to a musical score for the movie, I was going to need to hire a professional, so I had to raise some money. I turned to Kickstarter because it is currently the most popular crowd-funding site and I thought it would be a good way to get people more involved and interested in the production because I was able to offer rewards and incentives for financial participation.
I researched Kickstarter for several months ahead of time and I learnt several things about the way it works.

  • Firstly, it requires a lot of persistence in soliciting funding—you certainly cannot sit back and passively wait for money to come in.
  • You can expect a lot of contributions in the first few days, and then a long slow period in the middle, and then there tends to be a boost in the last few days with the pressure of the deadline arriving. I’m currently at the end of the slow period and am hoping growth comes back as the deadline approaches. We’re currently at just over 50% funding with about a third of the time remaining.
  • Another thing that’s important is to get the word out as widely as possible, so I contacted blogs that were relevant to the subject of the documentary and they were able to share the link to Kickstarter. Perhaps the most frustrating thing has been the hundreds of people who “like” the trailer with the Facebook “like” button, but don’t give money. I see that the proportion who “like” compared to those who give, is typical for most Kickstarter campaigns. About ten times more people will like the project than who actually make a donation. But these are tough times for many people, and the encouragement is still a boost.
  • Also, it’s important to be reasonable in your funding goal. I thought that $2800, minus the Kickstarter fees and Amazon Payment fees, and translated into euros, would provide the absolute minimum for which I could cover the cost of a composer. It’s best not to aim too high, because unfortunately, if you manage to have a large amount of money pledged, but fall short of your goal, you receive nothing. That’s the way Kickstarter works. Only successful projects receive their pledged funds. In my research, I talked to a girl who raised $6500 of her $10,000 goal and regretted it because she received nothing when, in fact, $6500 would have been enough for her to do her project, though with less luxury than the higher amount. And if you have extra money left over, you will get that, too.

I’m very happy with the image and I think that a musical score will complete the cinematic experience.
If you are interested in helping with this project, please follow this link


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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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