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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




Interview with "Never Winter" Dir, Moe Charif

Though the 2011 ÉCU Independent Film Festival is over TNC has
been lucky to continue to be able to bring you some pretty amazing
interviews with some of this years participants. Moe Charif, director of
Never Winter based on a true story, took the time out to talk with us
about his film, and what he has planned for the future.

Never Winter WON Best Actress for Chiara Thielmann

You can check out their projects at

How did you get into filmmaking has this always been a passion?

I wouldn’t say filmmaking has always been my passion, but ever since I
shot my first short film, about 7 years ago, I knew that I had found my
true calling. It started when I took my first photography class at
school. I really enjoyed capturing beautiful images, a moment in time
that told a story. It helps that I’ve always been a visual person. I
used to draw off comic books since I was a kid and that translated well
to photography mainly because I understood composition and framing.

Once I was introduced to story telling through film, I
was hooked. As much as I loved photography, film was the next step in
story telling. It’s called “motion pictures” because film really is a
sequence of 24 photographs that play every second. The concept
fascinated me. I directed my first short film “Hunted” in 2005 and I’ve
been telling stories ever since. I love what I do and I can’t imagine my
life without it.



Tell us about your films, what is your approach, how do you come up with your projects?

Tough question. I’m not sure I know the answer. Lol. I wouldn’t say
there’s a process. It’s really the craziest thing because the harder you
try to come up with concepts the less interesting they are or you end
up with nothing at all. I know it might work differently for other
filmmakers, but I try to let ideas come to me. I’m a very observant
person by nature and I do a great deal of traveling, so I’m constantly
being exposed to new situations, characters, ideas, cultures that spark
the process in my head. Sometimes it’s something you see that stands
out, or a story that someone tells you or might be something that you’ve
been exposed to your whole life you just never noticed it because to
you it’s a normal thing.

The films I work on are normally stories that have a
message. I’d like to think that I can make a difference, while
entertaining the audience, even if it’s on a very basic level. I like
movies that keeps my attention and allow me to explore other realities.
So I try to pay attention to that in my scripts. You want to make a film
that means something, but you also want people to be entertained
watching them. At the end of the day most of us see films cause we want
to escape the world we live in or want to explore other realities.

Your film is part of the ÉCU Film Festival in Paris, are you excited about this?

Yes, very much so! I LOVE that it will screen in Paris. One of my
favorite cities. I’m bummed that my schedule did not allow me to attend
but I have many friends that will hopefully make it.

What have been your the challengers you have faced?

I like that you use the word challenge here. There are
many day to day challenges on film sets. Too many to mention but at the
end of every day there are always solutions. It’s part of what we do as
filmmakers. I guess the biggest challenge I face on a personal level is
learning to disconnect from production and take some time for my self
and people that care for me. It’s difficult because film is my passion
but there are things equally as important and I need to learn to
dedicate time to that as well. I’m not there yet but I’m working on it.

What was it about the story that attracted you to it, was tackling a true story difficult?

When I first met Chloe, she started to tell me her story. I was
fascinated and shocked at the same time. Fascinated that a person can go
through so much abuse and still have a smile on their face and be such a
wonderful person. Shocked because I could not have imagined the awful
things her mother put her through.

I wouldn’t say telling the story was difficult. The
actors did such a wonderful job with their roles. Chiara Thielman,
(actress that played Chloe) made it so much easier for everyone else.
There were some moments during the production where our crew, not me of
course haha, shed some tears. The challenging part had more to
do with how we wanted to tell the story and whether or not it was going
to do any justice to Chloe’s real life experience.



Things are going so well for you, you feeling the pressure?

Yes. It’s difficult at times because I put more pressure on myself
than anyone else. There are no complaints here. I’m very thankful for
everything that has led me to this point and all the wonderful people
that have helped me get here. Without them, non of this would’ve been

What do you want people to take away from your film?

I’d like
people to look at their lives and be thankful for what they have. Many
people are becoming more and more self centered and a bit selfish. We
always want more and we’re never happy with what we have. Never Winter
is not an easy movie to watch but life is not easy. There are people out
there that have no where to go to escape their harsh reality. I believe
that there is always a way as long as you have the strength and the
right state of mind.

What advice would you give other filmmakers?

Keep at it. Don’t give up. Most people give up right before they make
it. That last push is the most difficult but if you get through it
amazing things could happen.

Finally, what are you working on now?

Aside from doing commercial work at my company dcode films we are
developing three scripts in addition to a TV pilot “Empire”, and a
feature film “Exile”.


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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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