Alessia and Alexander are two interns working at ÉCU from abroad. Alessia is Italian, and Alexander is Colombian working in Bulgaria. We are a truly international festival and you can see how this is reflected in our hard working international interns! We asked them to interview each other for out July Intern Buzz article, here are their responses:

Alessia interviews Alexander

1. You are interested in developing independent projects in photography, video, and web. If you had the opportunity to choose a job closely connected  with cinema, what would you like to do?

Working with media is one of my interests. From a communications standpoint, having the opportunity to work behind the scenes helps me understand how things work. Like a director behind the camera, I am able see everything from a different perspective. I am majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication; I have a background in photography, working for cultural institutions, and International Business studies. I’d like to merge all these interests in my work as a communicator, project manager, or business development specialist. My family has an inclination for the arts: my oldest brother, Andres, is a Journalist and aspiring writer. My almost twin sister, Esmeralda, is a seasoned theater actress and a recent film graduate living and working between Chile and Argentina. And my youngest brother, Elvis (yes, Elvis) is a talented graphic designer and film student.  I’d like to work with them someday.  I am interested in both fact and fiction, so working in documentary or film is a possibility.

2. You are Colombian, you are studying in Bulgaria and you are working for a French festival … You are a true citizen of the world… Why have you chosen to work for ÉCU? What’s your job? How do you think your background can be of use at the Festival?

I chose to work for ÉCU because it offers me the possibility to further gain experience in the communication field. Its communication internship has the right mix in terms of what’s demanded from the job, the skills I can develop, and the flexibility I was looking for.

At ÉCU my work is focused on the Spanish, Balkan, and Latin American markets. Besides translation of all materials to my native Spanish, I am responsible for developing ÉCU’s presence in these areas of the world. In other words, I spread the word. I am responsible for media partnerships or sponsorship deals with other festivals and/or organizations working in the film industry.

My background helps me in different ways. Besides collaborating with ÉCU’s marketing and business development efforts, I am able to produce materials such as photo stories, articles, and video interviews. I speak Spanish, and that’s a huge advantage when you want to interact with people whose native language is Spanish. I believe a sense of connection is very important when working in communications. You can always do it in English, yes, but people in general are more receptive in their native language, or if you share something in common. My knowledge across the spectrum of communications combined with my background in Business and my experience working with major cultural organizations in New York City has been vital to understand the industry, set marketing goals, and perform my job at ÉCU more efficiently.

3. Is there something that you would change about the Festival? If yes what and why?

Festivals are always evolving, so is ÉCU. Now we are working on making ÉCU more accessible to even more people and young filmmakers around the world. We are changing that. Opening our doors to all, it’s an important step forward for the festival. Paris is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and we would like to see ÉCU as a catalyst for innovation by providing a platform to Spanish, Italian, German, French, and Russian filmmakers alike- just to mention a few.  As the festival grows, so will its audience and duration.

4. Would you be able to describe the festival in 4 words? Give us a “start up” to attract the audience and the volunteers!

ÉCU: A unique experience, yours!

Come, join our team. Experience ÉCU.


And Alexander interviews Alessia

1. What’s been your biggest challenge interning at ÉCU so far? what have you learned from it? What do you expect to gain from Interning in ÉCU?

Every day is a challenge! A great challenge was organizing an ÉCU presentation in Italy, we didn’t have long to prepare, but thanks to the collaboration of all the staff including Scott and Kadi, we managed to do it and it was a success! From this challenge I have had the confirmation that nothing is impossible when you are a good team! But the greatest challenge…I’m working on, and I hope to win it, or rather I want to win it. Every day I get  positive feedback and this gives me the strength to try to widen our horizons. The world is big and full of festivals and companies…therefore there is a lot of work to do! Cinema is one of my passions and I have tried to go into different aspects connected to it: I’m journalist and press officer, I have studied acting and directing and I have worked as an actress for films, theater and TV and I have managed international relationships and special projects and events for an international theater festival. I wanted be part of a new international team and I wanted to know the dynamics of the creation, promotion, and diffusion of independent cinema… and ÉCU allows me to do this! I really hope that my collaboration with the festival can continue, I have so many ideas that I would like to propose…and I adore Paris, its directors, its cinema and some of its actress and actors!

2. Where are you working from? What’s your job? Describe a ‘normal’ working day for you.

I’m working from Italy, and I’m the Italian representative and business development manager, I manage and develop the partnership and sponsorship with Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal and in all the countries where ÉCU doesn’t have active collaborations at the moment. Furthermore, I manage the communication and Italian translations. My working day is often complicated but very amusing and stimulating, I try to be available 24/7…sometimes when I’m shopping there I get a new message from one of our future partners. But that’s why I like it so much!

3. What’s your opinion about the ÉCU Italian front? Is it good for Italian filmmakers? If so, why?

In Italy there are so many film festivals, some important and some less, we have succeeded in establishing a lot of partnerships with Italian festivals among which the RIFF, and others (some very important) that we are working on. Italy has a hard time, even if its cinema is of high quality, it doesn’t often succeed in exporting its films, except in some cases. This year at the Cannes festival we had Moretti and Sorrentino. Young people and especially “independent” filmmakers often stay in the shade, because they don’t have an international network to profit from. My purpose and that of ÉCU is to help the Italian festivals and the young Italian directors to export their work and to create an international network. Italy could be the birthplace of the new François Ozon!

4. The good, the bad and the ugly of working from Italy. Some words of advice to future interns/volunteers?

The good thing about working from Italy is that I can meet our partners, and I can explain all the details, as some festivals and organizations prefer to be in direct contact with us. The ugly part is that I cannot be in Paris and to talk directly with Scott, Kädi and the rest of the team, I miss out on their brunches and parties and above all the conversations in French! Interns should volunteer if you like cinema, if you feel like a true citizen of the world and if you want to widen your experiences. You will learn so much and will increase your abilities and skills, in an international and multi ethnic atmosphere … don’t miss this opportunity!

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