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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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Meet Indie Filmmaker: SÆKZI

Article by Anna Takayama 

 

SÆKZI, a recent submission to the ÉCU 2010 Dramatic Short category, is an honest story of a woman’s battle with her lack of self-confidence through the eyes of her devoted lover. Director Lars T. Moen gives interviewer Anna Takayama his views on women, beauty, ideals, and love in modern times.

 

Q: What is your film about?

Sækzi is a film about self-confidence, and how it shouldn’t matter what you look like. The film portrays a female character, Tine, and is presented through the eyes of her boyfriend, Martin.

Q: Where is the location of your film?

We shot on various locations around the city of Oslo, Norway.

Q: How did you come up with your story?

This was my first attempt at writing something truly personal as a screenplay. I’ve been on both sides of the relationship portrayed in the film–as the one insecure in need of comfort, and also as the confident, comforting boyfriend.

Q: How much of the narrative is the way you actually feel about “beauty”?

I can’t deny that first impressions come from exterior appearance, but personality goes a long way. I couldn’t stand being in a relationship with someone I couldn’t relate to, talk to, laugh with, and share things with. It’s a cliché that beauty comes from within, but clichés are clichés because they’re tried and true.

Q: Tell us a little about the casting process.

Martin, the male character and the one who tells Tine’s story was the easiest role to cast. Mattis (who plays Martin) had a part in another short film from the same producer, and I cast him based on his performance in that film. Casting Tine was a much longer process… It’s easier when casting amateur actors, to find someone who already fits the profile of the part, rather than forcing them to “act”… Marie (who plays Tine in the film) was so close to what I had pictured Tine to be like that there was no doubt in my mind… It takes a lot of guts and a lot of faith in the director, to waltz straight into a sex scene without anything but my word that I won’t take advantage of it.

Q: How do you feel about the way women are portrayed in the media today?

Different medias portray women in different ways. But in terms of fashion, advertising, and general ideals, it’s worse than ever. I feel sorry for girls who starve themselves to death to look like the poster girls they look up to. It’s not pretty, and it’s not healthy. We live in a time when children are raised to be shallow.

Q: Do you think there is a way to overcome overly idealistic expectations of women?

The advertising industry (and the motion picture industry, for that matter) will always advocate exterior beauty as an ideal, because it’s the only thing that sells their product… I think one misconception about ideals is that women think men have overly idealistic expectations of women. But I think first and foremost, women have even higher expectations of themselves and what it means to be a woman… There is an increasing number of anorexic boys in the world, and the expectations of men have also reached a point where it makes a lot of men feel inadequate, in the same way Tine does.

Q: Tell about your next project.

I’m currently collaborating with a screenwriter on a feature film screenplay, working title: “793 Arizona”. It’s a teen drama about “going your own way” and finding out where you belong among your friends, [even] if you belong with them.

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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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