Here at ÉCU, as the 2017 edition of our annual festival event swiftly approaches, we are on the final stretches of our search for the best talent in independent filmmaking to compete for the thrilling opportunity to have their films recognized as part of our ÉCU 2017 Official Selection.
This year’s jam-packed festival program – a 3-day film extravaganza taking place between 21-23 April at the 14th arrondissement’s Cinema les 7 Parnassiens – will feature a high calibre selection of films from various indie filmmakers in the international area. These promising new works will be screened to our local and international audiences, spanning from Europe and the Middle East to Oceania and Asia, receiving special attention from our rapidly growing and equally geographically diverse festival partnerships from around the world.
Last year at ÉCU 2016, we screened 77 of the world’s most exciting and innovative independent films from 31 countries that competed in 14 categories, an eclectic conglomeration of impressive productions ranging from poignant dramatic features and perspicuous documentaries to engaging short productions and avant-garde experimental works. All these varied works were in contention to receive ÉCU most esteemed awards, including Best European Independent Film 2016, Best European Independent Documentary and the award for Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking.
Year after year, we are always delighted to avow that our film festival is truly unique in ensuring that all filmmakers who submit their works to us are presented with the best opportunity to have their productions screened to as many industry experts, filmmaking peers and members of the general public as possible. The numerous and esteemed partnerships we have with film festivals all around the world continually demonstrate the value for directors, producers, writers and actors in becoming involved with ÉCU.
Now with the final submission deadline for ÉCU 2017 quickly on our heels, we’re looking back on the wide-reaching recognition and celebration that some of the directors acclaimed by ÉCU last year have received from our festival partnerships in recent months.
Our commitment is unwavering in ensuring that filmmakers who become involved with ÉCU receive the most fortuitous opportunities as possible to further propel their careers!
Here is a list of some of the ÉCU 2016 Official Selection films that have been successful at our partner festivals.
Film: The Chicken
Director: Una Gunjak
Award: Best European Independent Film
Gunjak’s German-Croatian drama chronicles the experiences of a 6-year-old girl, Selma (Iman Alibalic), who is forced to face the realities of her existence in 1993 war-torn Sarajevo, through her decision to set free a chicken acquired to feed her family, a consequential action which – unbeknown to child – leads to the irrevocable alteration of her family life.
After receiving ÉCU’s most prestigious award last year, the highly acclaimed film was screened at this year’s edition of our recent festival partner, International Film Festival of Patmos (IFF). One of the largest and most respected film festivals in the Aegean Islands, it brought together artists and filmmakers for 7 days of screenings, workshops and seminars between 21-27 July earlier this year, introducing a new selection of audiences to the wonderfully-received and highly admired work.
Director: Marc Martínez Jordán
Award: Best European Independent Dramatic Short
Martínez Jordán’s Spanish Sci-Fi drama, a 20-euro budget production completed in the duration of one weekend, introduces audiences to an enigmatic tale starring the filmmaker and his grandmother – featuring a dexterous amalgamation of the comedy, horror and thriller genres in its uniquely subversive style.
After receiving an accolade at ÉCU 2016, the film was cherry-picked by our impressive festival partner, Naperville Independent Film Festival, among a small selection of a dozen of the most arresting and absorbing films that made our Official Selection, to be screened during the festival’s 9th edition in Illinois between 19 – 23th September, earlier this year. Our partnership with NIFF has allowed us to maximize our abilities to promote these films to American audiences and to introduce further film devotees and industry experts to the superb assortment of films that have gained special recognition from ÉCU.
Film: The Old Man & the Bird
Director: Dennis Stein-Schomburg
Award: Best Independent Animation
The German production, a deeply innovative reflection on the nature of love and separation, portrays the equally heart-rending and uplifting experiences of an old man living in melancholic loneliness in a secluded hut. Framed by a scenic, snow-leaden backdrop, he reaches a crossroads in his life when he stumbles across an injured bird outside his home, catalyzing an awe-inspiring change in his existence.
The sole animated film exhibited to audiences at NIFF 2017, the festival’s collaboration with ÉCU demonstrates our respected partner’s warm dedication in incorporating a wide selection of ÉCU’s film picks in their festival program, affording the impressive films with the opportunity to be seen by NIFF’s rapidly growing local and regional indie film fans.
Director: Dimitris Argyriou
Award: Official Selection for European Dramatic Short
The Greek director’s rousing German-Bosnian production, a poignant tale examining the heartbreaking experiences of an aspiring hairdresser who becomes entwined in the sordid world of human trafficking (based on a real interview with a trafficking victim), has gone on to receive significant attention and international acclaim, both in the film festival circuit and beyond.
The gripping production received a screening at one of our most exciting film festival partnerships, Romania’s Arkadia Short Film Festival. The 2016 edition of the festival – held between between 2-4th September in the scenic town of Băicoi – included screenings of 7 of our Official Selection’s most impressive short productions, demonstrating our dedication to ensuring that our wide variety of stimulating and thought-provoking film selections receive highly deserved dialogues surrounding them.
Here at ÉCU, we are passionately devoted to the discovery, promotion and celebration of both budding and seasoned filmmaking talent, with the festival in April serving as our most significant opportunity to commemorate some of the world’s most promising independent films.
Whether you are an animation film aficionado, experimental production enthusiast or a music video buff, you can have the opportunity to find your film in the ÉCU 2017 Official Selection by submitting here!