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The highly-anticipated 12th edition of ÉCU taking place later this month for a 3-day extravaganza of film screenings, workshops and Q&As is not only projected to be one of our best festival events yet because of the high-calibre, innovative and diverse range of films we will be screening. This year’s edition of the festival will also screen films from a record number of 29 talented female directors who will all be in competition for our prestigious ‘Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking’ award –  a feat of which we are highly proud and are certain will render this year’s festival a particularly exceptional event!

cubsFor ÉCU 2017, our European Dramatic Short category will showcase a string a outstanding female-driven films. Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir’s slow burning, deeply intimate Icelandic drama, Cubs, will grip audiences with its exploration of the delicate intricacies of the prepubescent female experience together with the arduous emotional struggles of single-parent life, in the cartwheeling emotional triangle of young blonde-tressed Lena, her school friend Klara and Lena’s father, Per. Magnúsdóttir’s film portrays with perspicuous sensitivity the trying developments which unfold as a result of single-father Per’s assent to his daughter’s wish to host a slumber part with her friends Klara and Strs, effects which vary from the ambiguously problematic to the tragically calamitous.

Similarly, Courtney Hope Therond’s Echo, a penetrating meditation on a regrettably rampant occurrence in the United States, imbues the presence of children in its jarring portrayal of the scintillating collision between the sphere of imagination conjured up in childsplay and the mercilessness of reality. The Italian production’s sense of menacing torment emerges from the combination of the film’s intense realism with exquisitely-executed cinematography which embodies a child’s gaze. The third female-directed film in the category, Patricia Venti’s Spanish production, Yellow Cab 267. A Musical Hell, offers a transitory snapshot of the labyrinth of lives that meet at a curiously enigmatic, neon-lit New York restaurant, where a mafia-hired health inspector offers menacing words to a Japanese chef who cooks dubious dishes, a duo of customers clinically discuss the mechanisms of death and a veteran producer toys with a neophyte actress’s aspirations.

scrabbleThis year’s Non-European Dramatic Short category showcases a selection of poignant films made by a stellar group of female directorial talent. The absorbing films vary from Merve Gezen’s poetic Turkish drama, Scrabble, an evocative portrayal of the diversity of female human experience through the tale of four women from varying socio-economic backgrounds who unite to play to prophetic game of scrabble, to Ruya Koman’s irreverently comic, Reunion, an unconventional take on love which defies age barriers. Koman’s US-based production portrays the humorously absurd circumstance in which 25 year-old Tommy who harbours a penchant for older women find himself after inviting a female paramour he meets on craigslist for a daytime tryst at his family home. The witty drama borders on the scandalous as it offers an unexpected series of twists and turns as his female guest is revealed to be much more acquainted with him than previously assumed, as attested to by Tommy’s mother who stumbles upon her son’s precarious predicament.

At ÉCU 2017, we will showcase a variety of uniquely outstanding female-led films across a range of categories – from European Documentary and Student Film, to Experimental Film and our Arab Special Selection – with the aim of celebrating as large a diversity of filmmaking talent as possible. This year’s official selection demonstrates the importance ÉCU finds in honouring female filmmakers, as well as the progress that has been made in independent cinema.

Here is a full list of all the female directors whose films have been selected for the ÉCU 2017 Official Selection:

European Dramatic Short

  • CUBS, Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir, Iceland
  • ECHO, Courtney Hope Thérond, Italy
  • YELLOW CAB 267. A MUSICAL HELL, Patricia Venti, Spain
  • THE ELUSIVE, Ely Chevillot, Germany

Non-European Dramatic Short

  • CORK MAN, Dawn Han, USA
  • LUCY IN MY EYES, Megan Park, USA/Canada
  • REUNION, Ruya Koman, USA
  • SCRABBLE, Merve Gezen, Turkey

Non-European Documentary

  • FRAGMENTS OF LOVE, Estelle Fromentin, France/Argentina
  • PART OF ME NOW: LIVING WITH BREAST CANCER, Emily Gerhardson, USA

European Documentary

  • PROMISES HALIMO CAN’T KEEP, Paula Palacios, Spain/Qatar

Student Film

  • ELIZA, Zi Gao, USA
  • FOREST OF ECHOES, Luz Olivares Capelle, Austria
  • MY LITTLE OLDER BROTHER, Iris Hogendoorn, Belgium/ Netherlands
  • DERR NARR, Korinna Herzig, Germany
  • OMAR, Noa Gottesman, Israel
  • STANDBY, Charlotte Regan, UK

Arab Special Selection

  • THE BOY WHO CRIED FISH!, Dalia Musaad, USA
  • SING FOR ME, Sama Waham, Canada

European Music Video

  • WHERE IS GOD?, Nadine Keil, Germany
  • FADE, Ainhoa Rodriguez, Spain

European Comedy Film

  • LE CHAT DORÉ, Natalia Moreno, Spain
  • SEÑOR O SEÑORITO?, Christina Piernas & Victoria Ruiz, Spain

Experimental Film

  • RHYTHM OF BEING, Giada Ghiringhelli, UK
  • WHAT HAPPENS IN YOUR BRAIN IF YOU SEE A GERMAN WORD LIKE…?, Zora Rux, Germany

European Animated Film

  • THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER, Jadwiga, Switzerland
  • SORE EYES FOR INFINITY, Elli Vuorinen, Finland
  • HOW LONG, NOT LONG, Uri Kranot & Michelle Kranot, Denmark
  • LATE SEASON, Daniela Leitner, Austria

Several of these talented filmmakers will be present at this year’s edition of ÉCU to screen their films and speak with other festival attendees at the numerous director-related session. To learn more about the ÉCU 2017 programme and to buy tickets click here.

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