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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




Independent Cinema vs. Blockbuster

by Anne Marie

“Independent cinema is cinema produced outside of big studios with a
small to medium budget” – such is the definition of independent
cinema. Contrary to many other definitions, independent cinema is
defined not by what it is, but by its opposition to the cinema of big
Hollywood machines. This is, in fact, how independent cinema was born.

The birth of a new film label.
It was in the United States, in the 50′s, that independent cinema first
appeared, when a handful of directors decided to oppose the dictates
of the major Hollywood studios and create a new label for cinema. At
first , it was called ‘New York cinema’ to mark its resistance to
Hollywood, then ‘underground cinema’ and even ‘avant-garde cinema’.
Independent cinema was distinguished by its style, its themes, its
small budgets and the names and faces of unknown actors, because at
that time, the blockbusters being made in Hollywood were being driven
by economic demands.

Sensational Hollywood cinema.
With the advent of television, cinema saw its supremacy decline. With
falling attendance in cinema halls, Hollywood needed to make something
sensational, a great show. This is when blockbusters appeared. Borrowed
from the jargon of the theater world, the term meant a huge hit with
big budgets, major technical and human resources, which aimed to make a
huge profit and be something exceptional. But despite its predilection
for big shows, Hollywood could not deny the existence of independent
cinema which was attracting a growing number of viewers as time went on.

An independent label difficult to defend.
Although independent film remained isolated until the 80′s, it then saw
the appearance of great talents amongst filmmakers which managed to
appeal to more viewers. Finally, independent cinema was getting a
special place on the film scene. Faced with the undeniable success of
films made ​​with real talent and offering truly original works, major
Hollywood studios had no choice but to engage with the so-called
independent film production. From that time on the split between
independent cinema and Hollywood studios started to diminish or,
arguably, even disappear altogether.

Unclear Independence:
In recent years, there has been a constant coming and going of actors
and directors between the two worlds, and the border has become very
blurred. Now free from the labels of major studios, an independent film
is best identified by its distribution network. However, as it is not
distributed and advertised by large corporations, independent cinema
always needs to be supported by a variety of festivals and associations
of independent filmmakers. Because of this cinema will always remain a
cradle for new talent. Filmmakers will continue to create movies with
alternative and controversial messages, for it is from this huge pool of
talent and creativity that cinema as a whole will continue to draw
inspiration and develop.




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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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