The first film I saw of ÉCU 2013’s official selection was the American and French short documentary, Moving Gracefully Towards the Exit, made by Patrice M. Regnier and Jean-Bernard Andro. The story of a couple’s last years together as one suffered a terminal illness, Moving Gracefully intersperses painfully intimate musings on the knowing approach of death with the emotive images and movements of Patrice’s modern choreography.

A dancer and a filmmaker myself, I was floored by this film. There could not have been a better way to have been introduced during my first week of working with ÉCU to the type of work that is screened at this festival.

So, naturally, the first person I see as I walked into the theater last night was Patrice herself, just as gracefully warm in person as she was in the film. Later I learned that Chloe, a young woman whose letter to Patrice is featured heavily throughout the film, was also at the festival. What I didn’t learn until today though, was that the two had never met in person until last night, here at ÉCU’s opening screening!

Connections like these are the kind of thing that make small festivals like ÉCU really something special; when real people with real stories to tell can come together and show their labors of love to the world – and apparently to those who inspired them to create the works in the first place!

I don’t know about Patrice and Chloe, but my festival weekend was made from hearing their story today. Be sure to look for the interview with the whole retelling of their tale in recap reels in the days after the festival!

Do you have an ÉCU story like this one? Flag down a staff member in a red shirt and let them know!

Your story could make someone’s day too!


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