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This month is the high-point of our year here at ÉCU as it marks the onset of our highly anticipated three-day festival extravaganza – the 12th edition of the European Independent Film Festival!

All our busied toil and extensive preparations in anticipation of the festival paid off on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd at Cinéma Les 7 Parnassiens, during which we hosted a spectacle of independent film-related events – from 73 absorbing film screenings, to 3 professional filmmaking workshops, a series of interactive director Q&A sessions and of course our lively after parties!

On our opening night, we screened a spectacular range of thrilling films from our official selection that varied from British director Alex Hardy’s deeply harrowing and emotionally agonizing tale of a young woman’s experience with PTSD in Soldier Bee to Christina Piernas and Victoria Ruiz Spanish comedy, Señor O Señorito, a topsy-turvy depiction of a world dominated by women. The night lived up to our expectations as festival attendees, nominated directors and ÉCU staff alike mingled while drinking beer, listening to spirited live music and watching nine world-class independent films.

As this year is unique at ÉCU because we had the privilege of showcasing films from a record number of 29 independent femalefilmmakers, we began the second day of the festival with an inspirational morning atcinema Le Lincoln at our unprecedented panel discussion, She Shoots, composed of our female official selection directors. We opened up a dedicated space for female filmmakers to share opinions, comments and feelings regarding the independent film industry, successfully cultivating passionate and perspicuous discussion with our director-audience interactions.

The climactic moment of the festival was the closing ceremony during which we announced our winners of ÉCU 2017 which included Polish director Michał Wegrzyn’s thrilling drama Rage for Best European Independent Dramatic Feature, Sama Waham’s deeply intimate Canadian documentary Sing For Me for The Ahmed Khedr Award for Excellence in Arab Filmmaking, Charlotte Regan’s endearing British comedy Standby for Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking and Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir’s Icelandic film Cubs scooped the most prestigious award of the night for Best European Independent Film 2017.

Every year, ÉCU is continually honoured to host such an incredible weekend celebrating the best of independent cinema and creating such life-changing experiences for our selected directors. We hope to see you all at the forthcoming edition of ÉCU – for which we are already preparing – and we look forward to updating you all of the coming month’s developments!

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