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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: CHAMBRE 212

Our
favourite superhero takes on a new dimension in this short film from
director Hadrien Soulez Lariviere. A Parisian call-girl is summoned to
Room 212 of a hotel where she is faced with a rather unusual client,
whose sexual fantasy doesn’t quite conform to the norm.....

By Mairi Cunningham

Q:
Firstly, when watching the scene of the escort girl walking the hotel
corridors, it immediately made me the think of the iconic shots in
Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” when the character Danny Torrance
peddles down the corridor on his tricycle. Is this what you were going
for when you created this scene?

The
idea was to immerse the viewer in an unsettling atmosphere in order to
raise the tension and surprise them when they discover the real nature
of the fantasy that the client in room 212 has.....Perhaps I was
influenced subconsciously by ‘The Shining’, perhaps also by David Lynch
who uses shots of unsettling corridors in some of his films.

Q: What would you say are your major film influences? Is there a particular filmmaker you are inspired by?

I’m a
great cinema enthusiast. I love Peter Weir, Billy Wilder, Paul
Verhoven, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, Robert Aldrich, Georges Steven,
Ridley Scott and I could go on!

Q:
I’m intrigued to learn more about the inspiration behind your film. Can
you tell me a bit about where your idea for the story came from?

The
basis for the film came from a story found in a newspaper: “Wednesday
18th March, during the course of an erotic game, after tying his 26
year old employee to the bed, a bank manager from Sienna, dressed as
Batman, climbed onto a chest of drawers, caught his feet in his cape,
lost his balance and fell to the floor. Firemen untied the prisoner and
the man in his fifties was taken to hospital for treatment.” At the
same as I was hearing about these dressing up fantasies, I met two
escort girls who spoke to me a bit about their lives. That inspired me
to convey in a very concentrated way their point of view: the wait
which is both exciting and unsettling before the client reveals exactly
what he desires, these men’s fantasies which are so eccentric and
outlandish that sex isn’t even present, the pleasure of earning a huge
sum of money in a very short space of time, and the anxiety which must
follow (although they did not talk about this element, it was me who
imagined it).This was therefore how the film emerged.

Actor Erwan Larcher drinking something delicious.

Q: Is there any particular significance in the choice of superhero?

Batman is the superhero who most often appears in erotic games, because of the S&M dimension of his character.

Q: What genre would you say your film falls under?

Short
films enable the director to experiment. In this instance, I had a
great time experimenting with the genres of the film: almost every
sequence belongs to a different genre for example thriller, comedy,
burlesque, fantasy, and horror.

Q: How long did the filming process take and did you encounter any difficulties on the way?

The
film was shot in 2 days: one day for the scenes in the hotel and one
day for the scenes in the apartment. The whole shoot went very well.

Q:
Your actors successfully manage to capture the humour of the situation
without going beyond into the farcical and ludicrous. Tell me what it
was like working with your actors on set, and your job of directing
them.

I met
about twenty actresses to play the role of the escort girl. It was
difficult, as the role required someone who was comfortable acting in
their underwear. And of course it also required someone who saw the
humour in the project. Once I had cast the role, the most difficult
part was done. All I had to do was guide her on the shoot and listen to
her suggestions. For the role of the man, first of all I had to find a
Japanese actor -I should point out that the film was originally called
“L’Homme d’affaires japonais” [“The Japanese Businessman”] But, he
pulled out two days before the shoot. I found Erwan at the last minute;
however I am very happy with how it turned out. He is an acrobat, which
explains the flexibility he demonstrates when he jumps about the place.
Erwan is of Korean origin although he was born in France. He doesn’t
speak Korean at all, so when he is supposedly speaking in his mother
tongue, he actually had to learn his lines phonetically.

Q:
The fantasy turns nightmarish and the film takes a somewhat violent
turn and lots of objects are thrown around the room (irons, suitcases,
clothes rails, dildos etc....). Tell me a bit about this scene and how
you went about shooting it.

I used
a small, very versatile HD camera, without any added lights. The sex
toys weren’t so easy to find. The huge dildo that Wioletta pulls out of
the suitcase is transparent and coloured. I had a difficult job finding
it; often dildos of this size are realistic and therefore quite
sinister looking. The handcuffs are real and were bought in a sex shop;
I ended up cutting off one of the links. There are lots of little
objects which appear very briefly in the scene but which are quite
amusing. The dildo which vibrates in the film didn’t actually vibrate
enough in reality, so that is why a part of it is off screen. It was me
who made it vibrate! For such a brief shot, we needed it to be
exaggerated, almost cartoonlike! Similarly for the box of condoms which
is scattered everywhere: there were 200 wrapped condoms in the box but
they were all attached to each another. I had to painstakingly separate
them one by one so that they could all fall out of the box in such a
spectacular manner.

Q: Tell me a bit about the current projects you are working on.

I work
as a script-writer. For more than a year, I have been working on the
follow up to “Mystérieuses cites d’or ” - a cult series from the 80s. I
have also worked on fiction and animation series. Unfortunately I
haven’t had the time to work on any more short films since “Chambre
212” but some things are in the pipeline. Take a look at my website
www.soulez.com if you would like to find out more.

Director Hadrien Soulez Lariviere on set.

Q: And finally is there significance in the number 212... ?

The
room where we filmed the scene was the actual Room 212 of the Hotel
Concorde St Lazare. Since we didn’t really have permission to film in
the corridor, it was preferable to shoot in front of the door to the
room that we had hired. What’s more, the number 212 was in fact
perfect. It is neither a rounded number, nor a number with too strong a
symbolic connation like 5, 7 or 13. You can picture it as an anonymous
room, exactly what we were looking for.

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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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