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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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Vicky Mathers, ÉCU alumni talks about her film "Stanley Pickle" and life post-ÉCU!

Hi Vicky! ÉCU here. We’ve never met, but your film ‘Stanley Pickle’ won the prize for ‘Best Student Film’ and we all absolutely loved it. How did you find out about ÉCU in the first place?

I found out about ÉCU by searching for festivals in Paris- from the website it looked really active, and that's what drew me to it. Then I read more about it to discover it clearly had a great reputation so naturally I sent in Stanley Pickle.

What’s happened to Stanley since April 2011? Rumour has it he’s done a lot of travelling......

 

Stanley has been on an epic journey around the world. Highlights have been Newport Beach FF, Arizona IFF, NYCIFF, MIFF Milan, Fest Anca Slovakia, STIFF Seattle, Palm Springs FF, and Cannes in a Van! There are these guys who literally drive around Cannes and open up the back of their van to reveal a mobile cinema. They screen a hand picked selection of short films from all over the world, it’s a brilliant idea!
I’ve got a handful of festivals to announce coming up across California, San Francisco, Washington D.C, Italy, Spain, Missouri, a Swiss premiere and we’ve been nominated for a View Award in Italy. As Barry Purves would say…’The ‘Pickle Juggernaut’ rolls on.’

What got you started in filmmaking in the first place?

I got a job on a feature film when I was 17 working for Art Director Brian Savegar (Dinosaurs, A Room with a View) – he was very kind to take me under his wing. He suggested I go to Kingston University and after a degree in Fine Art then working in TV, Costume, Design, Photography, experimenting with Animation, and a whole lot of soul searching, I moved out of London and got a scholarship in to the NFTS, which has subsequently changed my life.

Who or what are you influenced by?

Art, architecture, people, illustration, stories- my family- surrounding myself with passionate people who manage to keep their feet on the ground and their head partially in the clouds.

What are the best and worst things about participating in the film festival circuit?

The best thing about film festivals is that you are brought together with an audience of people who simply love watching films. It is just bliss. You can strike up real bonds with fellow filmmakers. When you are watching each other’s films it’s like having a direct conversation with people but without talking. And I love that, it’s beautiful.
The worst thing about film festivals is not being able to afford to travel to each festival to represent your film- for example ÉCU! I would have LOVED to but money is always the enemy. Our Korean premiere was last week, I would have found that fascinating, that and when we got in to the Bahamas- that would have been a lovely trip!
I went to a screening in London the other night at ‘Short & Sweet’- I hadn’t watched Stanley Pickle for a while, it really reminded me how important it is to listen to your audience react and understand why it works, why it’s good and why its worth keeping at it, even though it’s so hard to earn money.

 

What are your plans for the future? Are you working on a new project?

I’ve just finished a new Fashion Film for Lulu Guinness, it’s a short stop motion piece about her new luggage collection. It’s a fun little story about her suitcases going on honeymoon, dancing from London to Paris inspired by Fred and Ginger and vintage MGM movies. You can view it here: http://vimeo.com/27371114
Other than this, I’m honored to have recently been named a ‘Brit to Watch’ by BAFTA. I am writing, having lots of meetings, pitching and helping Pickle roll along around the world. In September I will be travelling to a festival in Columbia Missouri (central USA), it’s called ‘Citzen Jane.’ It’s a fairly laid back festival, looking at how us ladies are getting on in the industry, it should be fun!

And finally could you summarise independent cinema from your country in 3 words?

Essential for growth

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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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