Here at ÉCU, our film festival is truly unique in ensuring that all filmmakers whose creative efforts are acclaimed by us are presented with the best opportunity to have their films celebrated and recognised by as many industry experts, filmmaking peers and members of the general public as possible. In honouring, above all, the encouragement and celebration of filmic talent and creative fecundity, we have found it to be consistently true that female filmmakers constitute a vital portion of the ground-breaking independent filmmaking that we acclaim.
Every year that ÉCU has existed, we have continually received an eclectic assortment of impressive film submissions from female filmmakers. These range from poignant dramatic features and lucid documentaries to engaging short productions and innovative experimental works. These films continually surpass our expectations of quality and content. As a result, we find it vitally important to celebrate the creative efforts of female filmmakers who make an immeasurable contribution to the enrichment of independent cinema.
Of our esteemed selection of accolades, the award for Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking is one of our most precious and symbolically significant. Each year, the unique film that is bestowed with the award becomes representative of our drive to shatter existing social barriers and fiercely challenge the status-quo. It equally mirrors our goal to offer a platform for films which have that magical element; a cinematographic je ne sais quoi which reminds us why we devote our lives and work to independent filmmaking.
The 14th edition of our annual festival event saw an exceptional crop of talented and innovative female filmmakers showcase their creative treasures. We proudly featured 25 independent films by female directors, who were all in competition for the opportunity to be awarded one of our accolades. The jam-packed 3-day film extravaganza which took place between 5-7 April 2019 in 8th arrondisement’s charming Cinema les 7 Parnassiens, offered an astonishing variety of shrewd, insightful and moving female-driven films from all around the world.
Among the impressive slate of films honoured in the 2019 Official Selection was Carlota Martínez Pereda’s ‘Best European Independent Film’-winning PIGGY, the tale of overweight teen Sara and a life-changing walk home. Carole Cassier’s controversial story of radical feminist artist Casey Jenkins in The Quiet Rebel won ‘Best European Independent Documentary’. Andreea Valean’s short film JOC, telling the story of 12 year old Dani who sells cold water in stop-light traffic was awarded the 2019 Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking.
In 2017, we unveiled the first edition of our socially-conscious, highly-anticipated project, #SheShoots; a lively and stimulating panel discussion composed of the female filmmakers in competition at the festival. We opened our doors to the public at Paris’ Cinema Le Lincoln for the inaugural round-table discussion dealing with the selected filmmakers’ works, their inspirations and the role of gender in their respective journeys within the independent film industry. The film screenings and #SheShoots workshop attended by many of our audience of industry partners and festival fans indubitably re-ignited our fierce pride in independent filmmaking.
ÉCU is committed to ensuring that the pioneering female filmmakers who are involved with us are celebrated with all the zeal and empowered with all the devotion that they deserve. Our aim is that these filmmakers receive the most fortuitous opportunities and are able to propel their creative voices so that they can continue to push themselves forward and change the face of independent filmmaking.