ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival is thrilled to announce its Official Selection of films that will be showcased at the 15th edition of the festival. ÉCU 2020 will proudly screen 90 films from 30 countries on the 24th, 25th and 26th of April 2020 in Paris, France.

European Dramatic FeatureEuropean Dramatic ShortEuropean DocumentaryNon-European Dramatic Feature
Non-European Dramatic ShortNon-European DocumentaryStudent FilmArab Special Selection
European Comedy FilmEuropean Music VideoEuropean Experimental FilmEuropean Animated Film
Much More Than A Script Competition

European Dramatic Feature

SHIBIL

Director Nikola Bozadzhiev

Country Bulgaria

This is a story of impossible love, seen through the eyes of an unexpected character: the incarnated soul of the main character – his horse.


European Dramatic Short

ANNA

Director Dekel Berenson

Country Ukraine, UK, Israel

Living in war-torn Eastern Ukraine, Anna is an aging single mother desperate for a change. Lured by a radio advertisement, she goes to a party with a group of American men who are touring the country, searching for love.

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Director Mads Koudal

Country Denmark

A woman’s lifelong relationship with her disabled daughter is changed forever when she receives an unwanted letter.

THE CALL CENTRE

Director Louisa Connolly-Burnham

Country UK

Paige spends her days setting up people’s life insurance in a drab North London call centre. She is bored of her life, longing for intimacy and connection that she unexpectedly finds on the phone to a charming customer called David.

In partnership with Aesthetica.

DAUGHTER

Director Christian Kinde

Country UK

Since the death of her mother, Lilah has begrudgingly taken on her mum’s role in the family home. Lilah makes the choice to flee with Jimmy, putting her family’s forgiveness to the ultimate test.

DOPPIO SEI

Directors Pierluigi Braca, Luigi Montebello

Country Italy

Fiumicino. 1996. Two lovers, one game. The violent end of a relationship through the faces of a dice.

FILMS FROM THE SMOG YEARS

Directors Michal Zadara, Barbara Wysocka

Country Poland

The air in Warsaw, Poland is extremely polluted.  A director tries to film the poison that we inhale every day, but the obstacles are institutional, emotional, and practical.

FLORA

Director Javier Kühn

Country Spain

A Victorian story about life, death, and everything in between.

GEORGE THE DOG, REFUGEE

Director Tomasz Wiński

Country Czech Republic

Anna and Lizzie share a flat with George – a tax consultant who thinks he is a dog. George agrees to their strict rules: at home, he may only walk on all fours, isn’t allowed to speak, must lick their feet and obey every order.


LA GITA

Director Salvatore Allocca

Country Italy

‘La Gita’ is a teenage story, focused on an Italian girl of second generation who realizes for the first time in her young life what it is to be different from others. She must find the strength to accept herself and continue despite everything.

In partnership with Aesthetica.

IL NOSTRO CONCERTO

Director Francesco Piras

Country Italy

Antonio is an eccentric pensioner. He lives alone in an apartment in the centre of Cagliari. He spends his days in chat rooms, where he sings classic Italian songs. There he meets Karen, a German pianist who becomes his friend. But Karen is hiding a secret.

IM HÄUSCHEN VON HERRN VAN DEN BRINK

Director Björn Renner

Country Germany

Two small-time crooks Heiko and Marcello end up in the hut of Mr. van den Brink. Having fled the police they hide in a garden house but then wake up with their hands and feet bound. From now on the owner of their hiding place, Mr. van den Brink, is calling the shots.

THE LAST KICK

Director James Skinner

Country UK

Fuelled by drink and without a plan, Tom has brought his old football coach to the long-abandoned sports clubhouse. Tearing himself apart, Tom can’t decide if he wants answers or vengeance

THE MANCHADOR

Director Kaveh Tehrani

Country Norway

Mina and Saeed live a stressful life in the Iranian capital, Tehran. Being a woman in Iran is not easy so Saeed invents a device that places the responsibility for the hijab where it belongs – with the men whose gaze women need protection from.

NACHRICHT

Directors Lukas Turtur

Country Germany

After not seeing each other for a long time, a couple meets again in a hotel room in Paris. They have to cope with trust, love, longing and finding each other again in this globalized world.

NAIDA

Directors Yury Sholin

Country Russia

The stray dog Naida becomes the only friend of severe security guard Sergey. Sergey has lost the meaning of life after losing his family. But he needs to make a difficult choice.

REA

Director Joanna Bielinski

Country Germany

Oliver Helfrich and his wife Rea lead a family life dominated by violence and psychological terror. In the middle is their baby son Jonas.

LA REGINA SI ADDORMENTA DOVE VUOLE

Director Lorenzo Tiberia

Country Italy

Rebecca is a four-year-old girl who, driven by her parents’ quarrel, escapes from her bedroom and hides in the garden of a nursing home.

SUBURB

Director Nikolas Juergens

Country Germany

In the dull wasteland of the suburbs, a group of teenagers’ desire to grow strength and get recognition transforms into violence against the weak. Tenderness becomes a taboo.

SUPERHERO

Director Émile V. Schlesser

Country Luxembourg

Max, a young man with Down syndrome, stakes on a superhero identity to muster the courage to profess his love to a childhood friend. Showing up uninvited at her farewell party, he soon finds himself involved in a test of courage which goes horribly wrong.

TERRY MAC

Director Pablo Robertson de Unamuno

Country UK

Terry is disillusioned with inner city life. As he wanders the streets of London at night some strange characters start to appear, beckoning him on a journey where he must confront his demons from the past.

THREE TIMES

Director Paco Ruiz

Country Spain

Mario is at home alone. His parents are gone and it will take them a while to return. Enough time for their son to arrange a sex date on the Internet with a total stranger.

UNF*CKABLE

Director Siham Hinawi

Country Belgium

A 40-year-old self-conscious cop spends a night on duty which will push her over the edge.

In partnership with Aesthetica.

THE WALKING FISH

Director Thessa Meijer

Country Netherlands

An ambitious amphibian sea-creature wants to venture into the human world. Her dream to evolve is so strong that she overcomes the physical boundaries of her fish-body and transforms into a human being. But even as a young woman will she ever be content?

In partnership with Eindhoven Film Festival


European Documentary

FRAM

Directors Thomas Freundlich, Valtteri Raekallio

Country Finland, Norway

Fram is a documentary and travel film about two friends journeying to the end of the earth, in order to make a dance film in the polar wilderness of Svalbard.

NEVER GIVE UP

Director Jonathan Schörnig

Country Germany

In 2014 Mekon had to flee Nigeria after his parents were murdered.

REVELATION OF JONAH

Directors Alexander  Gratovsky, Nicole Gratovsky

Country Spain

A philosophical journey into the eternal questions on the nature and purpose of mankind and our communication with the world. Third film of the trilogy.

SHADOWS OF LIGHT

Director Walter Fanninger

Country Austria

A film about a festival that celebrates the summer solstice with heavy metal sounds and archaic fire rituals. With Bartholomäus Resch as massive and incorruptible host, blending traditional and modern culture and various styles of musical performance, as well as ancient nature and cosmic spirituality.

VIVIR BAILANDO

Director Imma de Reyes

Country UK

When Cari became a widow she lost both the love of her life and her dancing companion. But she is a phenomenal woman who bounces back with wit, make-up and music. On meeting Vincente, Cari gets a second chance at teenage love, even if it means living in isolation.


Non-European Dramatic Feature

ADVERSE

Director Brian A. Metcalf

Country USA

A rideshare driver, suffering from mental illness, discovers that his sister is in debt to a dangerous crime syndicate

THE JOURNEY OF MURDER

Director Jun Wang

Country China

Sha Tao is a village girl with mental disorders who gets involved in a money transaction of ghost marriage.


Non-European Dramatic Short

ANACRONTE

Directors Raúl Koler, Emiliano Sette

Country Argentina

Since the timeless night, on the life’s plains, humanity faces the Sorcerers of Evil’s indefeasible designs.

BUTTERFLY

Director Bonnie Foster

Country USA

A fashion model leaves her life for the desert and meets a mysterious stranger who finally brings the change she’s been looking for.

C’EST LA VIE

Director Yang Tian Zijie

Country China

Much as Hyde was fond of Chopin, he never listened to it outside his home. Through the help of a holy music store, Hyde is led to discover his own essential existence.

CARRY MY HEART TO THE YELLOW RIVER

Director Alexis van Hurkman

Country China

Taking her hospitalized friend’s place on a bike tour to the Yellow River, a high school graduate travels to faraway Gannan and races the clock to share pictures of the journey.

THE CHEF

Director Hao Zheng

Country USA

In the near future, when all labor works are replaced by humanoids, a Chinese chef, Pu (60s) is ordered to pass on his cooking skill to a humanoid robot William.

DORRIS 85

Director Grace Philips

Country USA

While trying to maintain composure and a sense of normalcy in a tough situation, Dorris Havemeyer struggles to keep up her spirits while celebrating a significant birthday.

FUNFAIR

Director Kaveh Mazaheri

Country Iran

Majid, a young financially struggling man, comes up with a ploy in order to better the life of his wife Sarah.

GREYISH

Director Eghbal Shirzaei

Country Iran

It’s a minimal story about a woolen old man as a metaphor of our life.

HORMONE DISTRESS

Director Karen Hsu

Country China

Jimmy is an elderly office worker. Everyday he sticks to the same routine. Life’s not grand but enjoyable. But recently, something unusual seems to be happening in his life.

THE JUMP

Director Gabriele Di Sazio

Country USA

A 14 year old boy sneaks into a pool with his friends to dive off the 10m diving platform. He will fail to demonstrate his courage to his friends but he will end up demonstrating it to himself.

In partnership with Cinalfama.

THE SOUND OF A WILD SNAIL EATING

Director Elisabeth Tova Bailey

Country USA

A woman is bedridden by a mysterious pathogen, and a snail takes up residence on her nightstand. A journey of survival and resilience, with captivating and graceful explorations.


Non-European Documentary

AMAZING GRACE

Director Lynn Montgomery

Country USA

Grace Fisher was an active musician and dancer until a rare spine disease almost derailed her budding career.

AUSTRALIA’S LOST IMPRESSIONIST- JOHN RUSSELL

Director Catherine Hunter

Country Australia

Who was John Russell and why has he been largely overlooked by mainstream art history?

CALIFORNIA ON FIRE

Director Jeff Frost

Country USA

California on Fire utilizes time, sound, and the catastrophic effects of climate change as a backdrop to examine loss.


Student Film

BATHHOUSE DRUMMER

Director Treey Liu

Country China

Shōta runs into a century-old bathhouse where he finds inspiration in the back-beating massage rhythm. Shōta decides to organize a performance in the bathhouse for his new friend Wang Fushun.

BEAR WITH ME

Director Daphna Awadish

Country Netherlands

Through moving interviews, Bear With Me reveals the many difficulties prevalent for those who cross borders in order to be with the ones they love.

DÍA A DÍA

Directors Jan Philip Baldus, Tobias Kraus

Country Germany

The low-budget documentary “Día A Día” unbiasedly depicts the daily life of struggling individuals in La Paz, Bolivia.

KUMAGAI

Directors Mathilde Girard, Auriane Remond, Julia Berdollt, Abigaëlle Michel, Victoria Lallemand

Country France

Kumagai, a veteran samurai is forced to kill a mysterious opponent on the battlefield. The memory of his deed keeps haunting him and is destroying him day after day.

THE LOST EYE

Director Sarah Pannakoek

Country Netherlands

Wanda is riding her horse when suddenly, his eye gets stolen and a great adventure starts.

MEDICINE

Director Alexander Hauser

Country Germany

Lisa supports her former drug addict mother Sabine in a custody dispute with the youth welfare office. They are on the verge of preventing Sabine from losing custody of Tom.

MOONRISE CARCOSA

Director Kevin Tromp

Country Netherlands

In a strange and deserted world where time does not seem to exist, Sam wanders alone. While searching for the strength to cope with the loss of his mother, both light and darkness are crossing his path.

MY CAT AS SOCRATES

Director Villő Krisztics

Country Hungary

The Greek philosopher Socrates returns as a stray cat. He is taken in by Viola, who is desperately fighting for independence in the stifling milieu her mother has built around her. Everyone who surrounds Viola has opinions on her unstable spirit, yet Viola finds the company of the cat more entertaining.

NESTOR

Director João Gonzalez

Country Portugal

Nestor, a man with several obsessive-compulsive behaviours lives in an unstable houseboat which never stops oscillating.

A POEM IN BAMBOO

Directors Xufei Wu, Chun Yao Chang

Country China

1920s, Southern China. A young bridegroom is visiting his aunt, who lives alone in the distant mountains. Bamboo grows everywhere like an ocean. The mansion is beautiful, and his aunt seems kind. Still, there is that locked room in the attic. And that strange noise. And secrets?

SPECULUM

Director Jonas Rouyer

Country France

In order to forget the society he despises Philastère takes refuge in his passion, legends.

STUBBORN AS A MULE

Director Victor Bargès

Country France

A car is stopped in a Serbian countryside. A young man, Ulysse, with facial injuries is on the phone. He turns over the back seat of his car and sits on the driver seat. There is not enough money. On the back seat, a couple of refugees are trying to reason the young man.


Arab Special Selection

FOR A KISS IN BAGHDAD

Director Sawat Ghaleb

Country Iraq

Saeed is a young boy who works as a street gas cylinders seller in a poor neighbourhood in Baghdad. He is in love with his boss’ daughter. In a big city like Baghdad, these two can’t find a place to kiss. Every time he tries to kiss her something happens.

MANARA

Director Zayn Alexander

Country Lebanon

Tragedy strikes when the Zayyad family loses its patriarch under mysterious circumstances, leaving the surviving members to fend for themselves within a judgmental community in Southern Lebanon.

UNDER COVER

Director Shereen Lani Younes

Country USA

A young woman walks home.

UNDER THE LEMON TREE

Director Noor Alasswad

Country Qatar

We spend a day under the shade of a lemon tree with a Palestinian woman named Khaldieh who was abruptly exiled from her hometown of Tulkarem in 1967. She recreates her homeland through an assemblage of simple elements.


European Comedy Film

DISPERSION

Director Basile Vuillemin

Country Switzerland

A man uses an automated funeral homes company to bury his mother.

In partnership with Aesthetica.

A FAMILY AFFAIR

Director Florence Keith-Roach

Country UK

When Annabelle wakes up in a stranger’s bedroom on her 30th birthday, she thinks the day cannot get any worse. But then Bernard walks in.

In partnership with Aesthetica.

A JAR OF NUTS

Director Savvas Stavrou

Country Cyprus

Still living at home, a lonely forty-year old devises an intricate plan to take his life after his mother dies. As the day progresses, he allows excuses, to stop him, oblivious to the true reason behind his stalling.

KOEKOEK!

Director Jörgen Scholtens

Country Netherlands

Absurd comedy about a lonely man who lives inside a cuckoo clock. Every hour he straps himself into his ejection seat and shoots through the doors of the clock. “Cuckoo!” He yells, “Cuckoo!” His work is of vital importance.

In partnership with Eindhoven Film Festival.

QUIET CARRIAGE

Director Ben S. Hyland

Country UK

A man must decide whether to intervene and stop a casual commuting rule breaker, or live with a lifetime of regret. A comedy about a passive man with an overactive imagination.

In partnership with Aesthetica.

STRAIGHT FACES

Director Rally Ridberg

Country UK

A satirical exploration of homophobia in young men.

In partnership with Aesthetica.


European Music Video

ADAGIO FOR STRINGS AND STORM

Director Ivan Yudin

Country Russia

Official music video for Adagio for Strings and Storm by Nico Cartosio.

AGORIA- CALL OF THE WILD

Director Loïc Andrieu

Country France

Throughout a cinematic video, director Loïc Andrieu introduces a new female hero high-concept. It features Jane, an enigmatic L.A.P.D officer, forced to face her Orphic power to dive into death.

ALPHA

Director Simone Marangi

Country Italy

A dark trip through vice and desire.

BASS ASTRAL X IGO ‘FEELING EXACTLY’

Director Grajper

Country Poland

The protagonist’s dilemmas and his inability to recognize his emotions was the film’s starting point. Set in a psychiatric hospital, the film touches on the dark history of hospitals and their mistreated patients.

ELECTRIC LITANY

Director Sakari Lerkkanen

Country UK

A man confronts his fear of Death on a journey to the other side. Death which is represented by a woman.

KAADAFAREWELL

Director Christian Holm Glad

Country Norway

“Farewell” is an emotional and visually impressive mosaic of personal stories from across the world that are masterfully connected to the piano driven melancholy of the track.

LEE ANN WOMACK’S ‘HOLLYWOOD’

Director Chris Ullens

Country UK

Lee Ann embarks on a cinematic road trip through iconic California, all shot frame by frame in rarely seen before rear projection stop motion.

PAUL KALKBRENNER’S ‘PART TWELVE

Director Taisia Deeva

Country Germany

We are witnessing the life of a patriarchal and totalitarian community living in an isolated place after the death of the oldest man – their leader.

SUITE AFTER THE FURIES

Director Kevin McGloughlin

Country Italy

The album’s flag piece of Stefano Lentini, takes shape from artist Kevin McGloughlin’s visual work by 3D light ghosts. The single encapsulates the special effects’ illusions of a threatening new world, but softly expands into a piano epilogue, developing in a climax of tense flash glows.

WILD HORSES

Directors Kévin Roualland, Maxime Dupuy

Country France

Wild Horses is both a short film and electronic music video telling a dystopian sci-fi love story through beautiful, timeless animation.


European Experimental Film

ONCE UPON ANOTHER

Director Chuck George Tsioutsias

Country UK

‘Once Upon Another’ is a visual narrative that challenges the notion of traditional sculpture and its relationship with surrounding spaces. It consists of a series of vignettes of installations (or in this case sculptures) that live in grand architectural landscapes.

REVOLUTION

Director Justin Bentvelsen

Country Netherlands

Screens occupy the majority of our daily lives, perhaps unconsciously. CGI is becoming more realistic and dominant every day. This increasingly blurs the boundary between reality and the alternative “reality” of the CGI world.

THEM

Director Robin Lochmann

Country Germany

In a forgotten village where everyone is cut from the same cloth, a new self-proclaimed leader arrives changing the local way of life. Dividing lines are carved out as the once unified society is torn and segregated.


European Animated Film

GRANDAD WAS A ROMANTIC

Director  Maryam Mohajer

Country UK

My grandad was a romantic. He once saw a picture of my granny and realised that she was the love of his life. One day he decided to go meet my granny.

LA GRANDE ONDA

Director Francesco Tortorella

Country Italy

The “business turning point” of one of the most brutal and powerful criminal organizations in the world: the ‘Ndrangheta, told through the life and death of a common man.

HOW COUNTRIES FIGHT THEIR WARS

Directors Thomas Loopstra, Maurice Baltissen

Country Netherlands

How countries fight their wars.

MIND MY MIND

Director Floor Adams

Country Netherlands

When relying on social scripts to survive the social world, it’s not easy to go off-script. Especially if you’re obsessed with German dive bombers and just want to date a girl.

In partnership with Eindhoven Film Festival.

NO, I DON’T WANT TO DANCE

Director Andrea Vinciguerra

Country UK

Have you ever had the impression that if you play the right song while a person is, for instance, frantically moving their arms trying to get rid of a bee, it may seem like they’re dancing instead? “No, I Don’t Want to Dance” it’s a stop motion animated short film which aims to raise awareness of how deadly dangerous dance can be.

In partnership with Aesthetica.

UNCLE THOMAS, ACCOUNTING FOR THE DAYS

Director Regina Pessoa

Country Portugal

From Regina’s personal and visual memories, this film acts as a tribute to her uncle Thomas, a humble man with a simple and anonymous life. Thomas shows how one doesn’t have to be “somebody” to be exceptional in our eyes.

WE_SOUNDS

Director David Carrizales

Country Spain

As human beings, we can’t seem to be able to get over our differences. But, are we really all that different? We_sounds; we’re all but the same.


Much More Than A Script Competition

Short Scripts

A CHILDREN DANCE

By Wagner Cardeña

Country: France

In a small village shocked by the killing of three children, a group of parents interrogate a stranger. The questions will soon turn into violence.

TIME MUSEUM

By Gahee Lee

Country: USA

APPALACHIA

By Roxana Stroe and Ana Maria Gheorghe

Country: Romania

Sam (17) spends his time with his friends, committing petty crimes and riding motorcycles. Raelynn is a Protestant girl raised by her father, the local pastor, in a strictly religious manner. Sam falls for Raelynn and starts following her daily and attending church services, just to see her. Soon Sam becomes Raelynn’s miraculous savior, her first and only love. The entire community is against them. He plans to run away with Raelynn, but things get out of hand.

Feature Scripts

BRIDGE BY THE EARTHEN HOUSE

By Paul Hunt

Country: UK

A postman hides his diagnosis of early onset dementia when his son commits suicide. As he deals with his own grief and that of his wife those who knew him are blinded to his worsening symptoms.

NOT ALL ANGELS HAVE WINGS

By Amaury Hayat

Country: France

To achieve her dream and go to Oxford, Sarah, a young student with a strong character, finds herself forced to work with Arnaud, the best student of the math department. However, Arnaud is unfriendly, strange and disinterested in the project. And in his own corner, he works on a secret project that is quite coveted and awakens the ghosts of the past of his professors.

VIOLENCE, THE NORM

By Maria Jose Moreno

Country: Germany

In Colombia’s illegal gold mines, a peaceful protest turned into a riot, and the riot turned into a war. This is the story of the war for Gold amid the world’s demand for high-technology. A union leader, a no-future teenager, and a tourist are caught up in the strike, while illegal armed groups take over a village to fight for the gold’s control.

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