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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




ÉCU in American University of Bulgaria

American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) held its first Short Film Fest on the last weekend of November. It brought together ÉCU- The European Independent Film Festival, South Western University “Neofit Rilski”, the International Documentary and Short Film Festival (DokuFest), Early Bird Student Film Festival, and In the Palace International Short Film Festival.

Scott Hillier, the president of ÉCU gave a lecture at the opening, which was the highlight of the three-day event. He talked about filmmaking and showcased excerpts from the movies he made. Along with the technical details of shooting and editing video work, he told students to always try to be the best at whatever they do. He motivated students to follow their passions, telling about his adventures in war zones where he worked as a freelancer for BBC. After quitting war journalism he started making documentaries, and at the end of his lecture, students who gathered in the AUBG auditorium had a chance to watch Hillier’s biggest work, the film Twin Towers that won an Academy Award in 2003.

Future journalists from both AUBG and South Western University showered Hillier with questions after the lecture. One of AUBG students, Daria Orlova, said he inspired her. “I am always fascinated by people who don’t bend under the system but make the system bend under them,” she said about him achieving his dreams against all odds. She said Hillier motivated her to “not sit and wait for dreams to come true, but work hard at pursuing them.”

The second day of the AUBG Short Film Fest was devoted to screenings of the latest independent short films produced around the world. At the end of the day attendees were treated with a special screening of the documentary Salam Rugby (Dir. Faramarz Beheshti), the winner of the Best Non-European documentary at ÉCU 2011, about women rugby team in Iran.

The selection of films had been curated by Alexander Acosta Osorio, a senior student at AUBG and the organizer of the AUBG Short Film Fest, as well as ÉCU’s Marketing and Communications Representative for Latin American and the Balkans.

During the third day of the festival attendees could watch a selection of Spanish shorts from DokuFest, films made by students from South Western University “Neofit Rilski”, and a selection of award winning films from ÉCU 2011. Alexander Acosta said he was satisfied with the first edition of the festival but hoped that students would take it even higher next year. As Scott Hillier said during his lecture, “always aim for great.”

written by Ksenia Lukanova
photos from Manol Donchev

 Read the article in French here : Français 

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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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