Europe’s premier event for independent cinema, ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival – announces its 2018 award-winning films, including its highest honour, “Best European Independent Film 2018.”

After showcasing 81 films from 37 countries, ÉCU 2018 ended its indie-packed weekend with a dazzling final ceremony recognizing 26 award winners in 14 categories. Winners included: WREN BOYS, directed by Harry Lighton (UK) for Best European Independent Dramatic Short; MERRICK, directed by Benjamin Diouris (France) for Best European Independent Dramatic Feature; and PLASMA VISTA, directed by Harriet Fleuriot, Sara Faulkner and Sarah Cockings (UK) for Best Independent Experimental Film. Martijn Winkler took home Best Director for #TAGGED (Netherlands). Together with Arab Cinema Center, ÉCU is proud to award Ahmed Khedr Excellence in Arab Filmmaking to WASATI  (SAUDI ARABIA). The award for Best European Independent Film 2018 went to THE BOX (Slovenia), directed by Dusan Kastelic.

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 13 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 2018 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 2018 award-winners:

Best European Independent Film 2018 THE BOX (Slovenia) Dusan Kastelic
Best European Independent Dramatic Short WREN BOYS (UK) Harry Lighton
Best European Independent Dramatic Feature MERRICK (France) Benjamin Diouris
Best European Independent Documentary REZO (Georgia, Russian Federation) Leo Gabriadze
Best Experimental Film PLASMA VISTA (UK) Harriet Fleuriot, Sara Faulkner, Sarah Cockings
Best European Independent Music Video THE END (France) Loïc Andrieu
Best European Independent Animated Film PLANET TOBLER (Ireland, U.S.A.) Aran Quinn
Best European Independent Comedy PUNCHLINE (Switzerland) Christophe M. Saber
Best Non-European Independent Dramatic Short PASSION GAP (South Africa) Jason Donald, Matt Portman
Best Non-European Independent Dramatic Feature KAFOU (Haiti) Bruno Mourral
Best Non-European Independent Documentary GRIND (USA) Yuri Alves
Best Student Film FACING MECCA (Switzerland) Jan-Eric Mack
Best Short Script TOO MUCH BUPKIS (USA) Tom Brown & Dave Jay
Best Feature Script THE FORGOTTEN PATRON (Canada) Louise Deschamps
Best Actor TJ O’Grady Peyton in “WAVE” (Ireland)
Best Actress Mami Shimazaki in “CALL FOR DREAMS” (Israel)
Best Editing THE THIRD BREATH (France) by Jonathan Mandel
Best Cinematography MOBIUS BOND (Lithuania) by Narvydas Naujalis
Best Director #TAGGED (Netherlands) Martijn Winkler
Special Jury Mention AQUATHLON (Russian Federation) Alexey Shabarov
SHE’ERIOT (Israel) Yael Arad Zafrir
TOO MUCH INFO CLOUDING OVER MY HEAD (Greece) Vasilis Christofilakis
Audience Award BÉA (Mexico) José Esteban Pavlovich Salido
The Ahmed Khedr Award for Excellence in Arab Filmmaking.
Presented in collaboration with Arab Cinema Center
WASATI (Saudi Arabia) Ali Kalthami
Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking THE ELEPHANT (Denmark) Kerren Lumer-Klabbers

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