Europe’s premier event for independent cinema, ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival – announces its 2017 award-winning films, including its highest honour, “Best European Independent Film 2017.”

After showcasing 73 films from 28 countries, ÉCU 2017 ended its indie-packed weekend with a dazzling final ceremony recognizing 25 award winners in 14 categories. Winners included: EMILY MUST WAIT, directed by Christian Wittmoser (Germany) for Best European Independent Dramatic Short, RAGE, directed by Michał Wegrzyn (Poland) for Best European Independent Dramatic Feature; and RHYTHM OF BEING, directed by Giada Ghiringhelli (UK) for Best  Independent Experimental Film. Ely Chevillot took home Best Director for CE QUI ECHAPPE (THE ELUSIVE) (Belgium). The award for Best European Independent Film 2017 went to CUBS (Iceland), directed by Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir.

During the festival weekend, international audiences were exposed to film and their filmmakers from across a spectrum of experiences, cultures, and genres. The Director Q&A sessions provided a great informal setting for discussion between the audience and the directors on filmmaking, while after-parties throughout Paris extended these conversations into the music-fuelled early morning hours. ÉCU endeavours to provide a cultural platform not only for entertainment, but also for active networking across the independent film world.

For the last 12 years, ÉCU has been helping to launch and expand the careers of many talented independent filmmakers. The Festival is extremely proud to assist these passionately driven artists who create incredible cinema without the benefits of large production budgets. ÉCU’s mission to discover and promote extraordinary independent films from around the world renders it a major European cultural event.

Scott Hillier, Academy Award-honoured filmmaker and ÉCU President, remarked that “it has been an incredible experience and a deep honour to showcase the wide variety of high-calibre constituting ÉCU’s 2017 Official Selection this past weekend,” adding that “these deeply insightful and highly well-crafted narratives reveal the profound promise that the next generation of filmmakers have to offer.”

Listed below is the full list of ÉCU 2017 award-winners:

Best European Independent Film 2017 CUBS (Iceland) Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir
Best European Independent Dramatic Short EMILY MUST WAIT (Germany) Christian Wittmoser
Best European Independent Dramatic Feature RAGE (Poland) Michał Wegrzyn
Best European Independent Documentary REFUGEE BLUES (Germany/UK) Stephan Bookas, Tristan Daws
Best Experimental Film RHYTHM OF BEING (UK) Giada Ghiringhelli
Best European Independent Music Video I GOT MYSELF A FINISH – TOM ROSENTHAL (France) Thomas Vernay
Best European Independent Animated Film LATE SEASON (Austria) Daniela Leitner
Best European Independent Comedy LE CHAT DORÉ (Spain) Nata Moreno
Best Non-European Independent Dramatic Short A BEAUTIFUL DAY (USA) Phedon Papamichael
Best Non-European Independent Dramatic Feature SELLING ISOBEL (USA) Rudolf Buitendach
Best Non-European Independent Documentary EL BUZO (Mexico) Esteban Arrangoiz
Best Student Film FOREST OF ECHOES (Austria) Luz Olivares Capelle
Best Short Script GOING HOME (Australia) Nir Shelter
Best Feature Script HUNTERS POINTE (USA) Scott Liapis
Best Actor EHO (Germany) Selman Jusufi
Best Actress Y (France) Marie Petiot
Best Editing THREE ROOMS (Mexico) Andrés Klimek
Best Cinematography SON (Germany) Leif Thomas
Best Director CE QUI ECHAPPE (THE ELUSIVE)(Belgium) Ely Chevillot
Special Jury Mention THE DOG AND THE ELEPHANT (UK) Mike Sharpe
THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER (Switzerland) Jadwiga Kowalska
MY LAST SUMMER (Canada) Claude Demers
Audience Award NIGHT – SHIFT (Lebanon) Hisham Sharafeddine
The Ahmed Khedr Award for Excellence in Arab Filmmaking SING FOR ME (Canada) Sama Waham
Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking STANDBY (UK) Charlotte Regan

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