SPOTLIGHT: HOUDA BENYAMINA

  Houda Benyamina is a French writer/director/actress/all-around amazing woman. She was born into a Moroccan family, in Viry-Châtillon in 1980. She remembers her  childhood fondly, recalling her middle school experience as the „best years of her life.“ She credits her neighborhood for „sharpening her tongue.“ It was then and there, in the southern suburbs of Paris, […]

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Un accent sur un prix d’ÉCU: L’excellence du cinéma arabe

  ÉCU – Le festival européen du film indépendant – à toujours été un grand promoteur de la découverte et la célébration du cinéma indépendant non seulement européen mais mondial. Tout au long des 12 années que nous avons maintenant existé dans le monde du cinéma indépendant, nous avons été constamment impressionnés par le calibre, […]

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Spotlight: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Jean-Pierre Jeunet is one of the most successful French directors of the modern era. His distinctive, whimsical style that can be described as a throwback to cinematic impressionism renders his oeuvre instantly recognizable. Of the several unique trademarks which characterize his films – including a focus on objects, the creation of quirky characters and the […]

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Tannaz Hazemi – Writer / Director Extraordinaire

 Français ©  Photo provided by Elizabeth Bruneau TANNAZ HAZEMI was born in Teheran and escaped with her family to Sweden as a refugee.  After leaving Sweden, she moved to the States and graduated high school in Chicago. Tannaz has published a book on music with MTV Italy,  worked as a freelance journalist and later as on-camera […]

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SPOTLIGHT – JENNIFER KENT

Français Jennifer Kent, the director of the horror sleeper hit The Babadook (2014), originally received a training as an actor, graduating from NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) in Australia. During her acting career, she worked in theater, film, and TV. After deciding to pursue a career in filmmaking to follow her passion, she went through an […]

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SPOTLIGHT – STAN BRAKHAGE

Français Stan Brakhage( January 14, 1933 – March 9, 2003) was an influential American avant-garde filmmaker that explored the frontiers of  artistic expression and visual perception through the medium of film. During fifty years of filmmaking, he produced roughly 400 films of varying lengths. His films are always painfully alive, the uncontainable kinetic energy brimming over […]

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SPOTLIGHT – GUILLERMO DEL TORO

Français The Spanish writer/director Guillermo del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1964. After he finished his study at the film school Centro de Investigación y Estudios Cinematográcios, del Toro went on to work as a special effects make-up designer for about ten years, which is an experience that is reflected in many of […]

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SPOTLIGHT – VALERIA BRUNI TEDESCHI

Français If it wasn’t for her last name, and, maybe, the elegant, irresistible smile, would you be able to tell that actress, director and screenwriter Valeria Bruni Tedeschi was the sister of Nicholas Sarkozy’s première dame and top model Carla? I bet at least more than half of you wouldn’t. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi was born […]

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SPOTLIGHT – MARTIN SCORSESE

Français Nobody can personify better than Martin Scorsese the realization of the American dream. Born in Queens, he grew up in a poor family watching neorealist movies with his grandparents (native of Italy) and going to the cinema with his dad (the director often says that those were his favourite moments and the only ones […]

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SPOTLIGHT – CLINT EASTWOOD

  Français   We can’t speak about film industry without taking Clint Eastwood into account! He was born on May 31th, 1930 in San Francisco, California. Before becoming the person he is now, he worked as a logger and truck driver. In 1950, he was called in by the Army Special Services while he met the […]

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Spotlight – Deepa Mehta

Français For our next Spotlight feature, we’re headed to the Great White North. It’s time to take a closer look at Toronto-based director and screenwriter, Deepa Mehta. Mehta was born in Amritsar, India but moved to New Delhi as a young girl. After meeting documentarian Paul Saltzman while he was filming a movie in India, […]

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Spotlight – Paula van der Oest

Français In the ÉCU’s blog, we have already talked about several movies that were chosen by their country of origin as entries to the 87th Academy Awards under the category of ForeignLanguage Film. Just before the Christmas season the Academy shortlisted 9 movies from over 80 for the further competition. Among those Paweł Pawlikowski’s IDA, […]

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Spotlight: Wim Wenders

Français Wim Wenders is known as a unique contemporary film auteur, who “has shaped our living memory of cinema”, says Dieter Kosslick, the Director of the Berlin International Film Festival. In February 2015 the Oscar-nominated filmmaker will be awarded the Honorary Golden Bear Award for his lifetime achievements. Current president of European Film Academy, Wenders […]

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Spotlight: Robert Rodríguez

Director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, composer and musician – a 360 degrees artist made in Texas, USA. This week ÉCU is focusing on a big master of pulp filmmaking tradition, a b-movie lover, a creative man that still inspires the whole indie film world: Robert Rodríguez. He was rejected by film schools but his passion […]

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Spotlight – Paolo Virzì

Français This week we decided to write about an Italian director that with a particular ironic style represents peculiar situations in the Italian lifestyle and just presented his new film “Il Capitale Umano”, a great example of original and smart independent filmmaking. Meet, Paolo Virzì. He was born in Livorno (Tuscany) and he studied cinematography […]

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Spotlight – Steve McQueen

With award season starting at the other side of the Atlantic there is a name that keeps coming up in the best director nominations and that name is Steve Mcqueen! We should clarify for the 60s and 70s movie lovers that we are not here to break the news of the resurrection of the ‘The […]

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Spotlight – Woody Allen

This week’s spotlight focuses on the ever-tireless filmmaker Woody Allen and his latest film „Blue Jasmine“. The director once again proves that even after 60 years, you can still produce a very contemporary social satire. Woody Allen achieves this with his film being an intense analysis of the modern man’s psyche with a few laughs […]

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Spotlight – Sarah Polley

Canadian Sarah Polley is a triple threat: actress, director, and activist. Polley first broke into the film world by acting in series such as Ramona and Road to Avonlea. Her stellar roles in Straight Up and in the 1997 film The Sweet Hereafter, were what brought her considerable attention in the United States. She won the Gemini Award for Best Performance in […]

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