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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 www.ecufilmfestival.com

 

 


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Interview with Yonathan Levy

Yonathan Levy is a rising Israeli/French filmmaker who won ÉCU 2010’s Film of the Festival (Europe’s Best Independent Film 2010) with his touching film, Das Kind.

While Das Kind continues its road to success on the festival circuit, Yonathan spoke to us about his influences and aspirations, keeping us eager to see what he’s up to next.

Where are you from?

I was born in Israel but I’ve always lived in France…until now. Indeed, next week, I will go back to Israel where I do hope to stay for a lifetime. So, my answer is both from France and Israel. I like to get these two cultures in me and to use them for my work.

If you could describe indie cinema in your country in 3 words, what would they be?

Passion, Creativity, Risk.

What got you started in filmmaking?

I got started in filmmaking very early, during a journey in Poland while I was 14. It was a one week “visit” in concentration camps around Poland with my classroom. I shot the whole journey with my VHS camera and I did the editing with a simple VHS tape player. The result was surprisingly moving and my classmates enjoyed it so they encouraged me to do another one. And then, I never stopped making films… I want to add that I’ve dealt with the Shoah topic several times after and I consider Das Kind as the film that closes this long cycle.

Whom or what are you influenced by?

My inspiration comes from different kinds of media and cultures. I try to be as open as I can to what life brings to me. To be more precise, I am more touched by people than places and I prefer heart and spiritual emotions to intellectual ones.

Otherwise, my director master is Andrei Tarkovsky. I feel close to him, not because of his specific and beautiful aesthetic, but because I share with him his vision of art and cinema, which is doing  films like praying.

Please describe your ÉCU experience: the people, the environment, how did you feel when Das Kind was chosen as the best film of the ECU 2010…?

I really enjoyed the ÉCU experience which was the first festival experience for the film. The screening of Das Kind was preceded by a Romanian documentary about excavations of communism’ victims and that was a good programming because it gave an interesting counterpoint to our film. Otherwise, Scott Hillier and his team were very devoted to us, the filmmakers, and I would like to thank them for their wonderful work. About Das Kind itself, I must admit that the ÉCU screening was the most moving one among the other festivals’ screenings. I don’t really know why but I felt everybody was crying at the end of the film. I remember Scott asking during the Q and A: who didn’t cry? And that’s true, the emotion was intense. Maybe that’s what helped us to win this prestigious award. Anyway, the award was a great surprise for me because of two main reasons: I hadn’t won any award since my short film SCOPE TOUR RETOUR five years ago and my film was a documentary so I didn’t think we could win such a prize. That’s why I did a very short thanking speech!

What was your most valuable aspect taken from participating in the film festival circuit?

Being in the festival circuit helps you to meet producers, distributors and buyers so it helps you to show and sell your film and it also helps you to prepare your further projects.

What was the greatest barrier you came up against in your filmmaking experience?

The greatest barrier was my age and sometimes I am still confronted by it. Unfortunately, especially in France, it’s difficult to conceive that a 24 year old boy is able to make a historical documentary feature. But I had the chance to meet my producer who was fully confident in me and let me do the film as I imagined it.

What are you working on now?

I am currently doing research and writing a script for a feature film about a famous Jewish scholar who lived in the Middle Ages

Your plans for the future?

Trying to remain the same.

Here’s where you can find Das Kind:

DocUtah (16-25 September 2010)

Cinepecs, Hungary (4-10 October 2010)

Festival des Libertés, Belgium (22-30 October 2010)

Mostra of Sao Paulo, Brazil (22 October – 4 Nov2010)

1001 Doc Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey (29 Oct – 4 Nov)

Vienna Jewish Film Festival, Austria (26-30 November)

About Yonathan’s universe and previous works, check his website at www.yonathanlevy.com

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About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

Hillier Scott
(ECU)

 

 

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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