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Introduction to the film festival

ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of the very best independent filmmakers from around the world. We proudly provide a unique platform for risk-taking storytellers to reach the broadest audiences possible. Our annual festival showcases films that demonstrate quality, innovation, and creativity in both form and content. These qualities are judged in 14 categories, 7 of which are open to non-European filmmakers (from the Americas, Australia, Africa, and Asia), and compete for 25 awards. Jury members come from around the globe, have a variety of backgrounds, and are all united in their desire to screen films that will truly impress and inspire attendees. ÉCU has expressly established itself and is often referred to as the Sundance of Europe. As such, we are the perfect venue for bold and visionary filmmakers to present their work to the cinema-loving public who are actively seeking alternatives to commercial-hungry major studio projects. Our screenings of new and thought-provoking cinematic creativity attracts more than just the public, but agents, talent scouts, production company representatives, distributors, and established producers, all of whom are searching for inspiring projects and raw talent. ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival has a wide variety of events for attendees to participate in throughout the weekend. Following every screening session, there are Q&A’s where audience members can pose questions directly to the directors. Directors then have the opportunity to respond and speak about their work and process. An assortment of workshops focusing on a number of subjects and hosted by industry professionals are available to all attendees. ÉCU is also a strong supporter of musicians and live music can be heard throughout the entirety of the weekend. Every evening there are amazing after parties where attendees and filmmakers can unwind, ideas can percolate, and a general good time can be had by all. (Sfilmmaker is our exclusive platform for cooperation in China, and we look forward to your good film.)

Awards

Best Non-European Dramatic Short Film、Best Non-European Dramatic Feature Film、Best Non-European Documentary Film、Best Student Film.Prizes range from year to year, but are donated by partners like Beachtek, Adaptive Sound, Les Machineurs, Zacuto, SellAScript.com, Film Inquiry, Kingston, IED, InkTip, Parrot, Syrp, Red Giant, Write Brothers and others.

Rules

Genre :Action Comedy War Science fiction Ethics Terror Thriller Violence Adventure Crime Family Music Love Magic Fantasy Shootout Suspense Youth Inspirational Literary Biography Western Drama others Documentary
Subject :Unlimited Children Humanistic Animals Food Women Education City Campus Sports Gay Old man Environment Home Workplace Special people
Video Format :MPEG4 DCP MOV MPEG
Films should be independent in spirit and original in perspective. Open to all films made with less than 50% participation by a major studio or television broadcaster. Films may be submitted in any language, however if the film is NOT in English, it must have English subtitles. The films in English, selected to be screened at the festival, must have French subtitles. Please note that French subtitles are only required if the film gets into the Official Selection. Appropriate subtitles are required to ensure the best screening for our audience. A synopsis of no more than 180 characters, in English and French, a screenshot from the film and a short director's biography also in English and French are requested upon submission. The films must be completed since 1st September, 2021.

Evaluation

  • Overall rating
Jury Profile
Jury Name Judge photos Jury Profile
Antoine Vareille Antoine Vareille is an editor for feature films and television. He has worked as an editor for the films Lucky Luke; Hitman; Brice De Nice; Fatal and Discount as well as for the TV series Kaboul Kitchen and on the TV series documentary Intimate Portrait with Peggy Fleming and Cindy Crawford. Antoine has been a jury member of the festival for the last 6 years.
Mark Perez Mark Perez is one of the premiere non-scripted Executive Producers and Directors in the business today, having produced and directed thousands of hours of programming for networks including NBC, Showtime, Discovery, History, ESPN, VH1, and MTV. Mark’s work includes huge hits such as NBC’s Fear Factor, MTV’s Road Rules and Laguna Beach and two seasons of America’s Next Top Model for UPN. Other critically acclaimed series include Showtime’s 3AM, and VH1’s Celeb Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Korinna Herzig Korinna Herzig is a freelance filmmaker from Stuttgart, Germany. She has been working as media designer and filmmaker since 2007. In Paris and Orlando, she used to work for the Disney company. 2016, she graduated from the Merz Akademie Stuttgart with her award winning short film DER NARR. Today, she does editorial work for German TV (SWR), is leading initiatives in youth media education and is the festival directress of “Weird Wednesday”, a two year old genre film series in Stuttgart. Where she also volunteers in a feminist association called FFGZ. It’s Korinna’s second year as a jury member for the ÉCU festival.
Alberto Sciamma Alberto Sciamma was born in Barcelona in 1961. Studied film at West Surrey College Of Art and Design. He started as a music video director and moved to feature films as a writer/director.
Oscar Spierenburg Oscar Spierenburg (1981) is a painter as well as an auto-didactic director from The Netherlands. He lives and works in Belgium. He has taught himself how to paint and direct and has proved his skills with numerous short films and the awarded feature film Vanitas. Oscar is now working on his second feature length film The Author. Alongside working as a director, he owns an art gallery in the center of Antwerp and founded the Apertus Open Source Cinema Project.
Suz Sainty Suz Sainty is a documentary producer / director and screenwriter, currently based at Discovery Channel in London. Over the past 15 years she has also worked for National Geographic and numerous indies in a variety of production and post production roles, and written several screenplays. She is currently working on a documentary feature and developing a three part fact-based drama series. Suz has served on the European Independent Film Festival jury since 2007.
Giada Ghiringhelli Giada Ghiringhelli is a London based filmmaker and video editor who has spent the last decade developing her passion in the visual arts, working across a number of industries including film, art, music and fashion. Her experimental works have been exhibited internationally in both gallery and festival circuit, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, London Short Film Festival and Uppsala International Short Film Festival. Her latest experimental film won Best Experimental Film at ÉCU Film Festival in Paris and Best Sound Design at Underwire in London.
Sam Kadi Sam Kadi is the director, writer and producer of critically acclaimed feature drama The Citizen, starring Cary Elwes. It was named in the “Best 10 Films of 2013” by Examiner.com. His award winning documentary Little Gandhi was Syria’s first official entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 90th Academy Awards. It won The Ahmed Khedr Award for Excellence in Arab Filmmaking at the European Independent Film Festival and was distributed by HBO Europe and Kino Lorber. Kadi was invited to screen Little Gandhi before U.S. Members of Congress, Untied Nations, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Parliament. Kadi was recognized by the Cinema For Peace organization for raising awareness of human rights, and was asked to speak on the subject before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands in 2012. In 2014, the SHOAH Foundation, founded by Steven Spielberg, chose Kadi as a Spotlight Juror. Kadi is a TEDx speaker and a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), where he serves on the Guild Asian American committee. Kadi lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and two kids.
Samantha Collins Samantha Collins is an Australian born British screenwriter based in Paris. A graduate of the UK’s National Film and Television School, she co-wrote the multi-award winning graduation animation ‘After the End’ with director Sam Southward. With a background in production and development, she has worked for Discovery Networks, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Arts, Entertainment and Comedy) and London animation house Nexus. Her first feature film ‘You Can Tutu’ has been released on Netflix and she has a number of original film and television projects currently in development, including co-productions, for the UK, USA, Australia and France.
Gareth Jones Gareth Jones is UK based executive producer, an industry veteran with 25 years experience in financing, sales, and distribution. A former CEO of George Harrison’s HandMade Films, Gareth has financed, sold, and distributed over 80 independent films, including Mona Lisa; Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Psych 9 and 4321 and others.
Georgios Cherouvim Georgios Cherouvim is a digital artist, computer animator and CG lead for Visual Effects. He was born and raised in Athens and currently lives and works in New York. At a young age he started experimenting with computer graphics together with animation and hasn’t stopped since. Influenced by architecture, he is attracted to simplistic forms, purposeful design and methodical processes. His work and animation shorts have been screened in dozens of festivals around the world including Ars Electronica, Siggraph, Art Futura, One Dot Zero, Athens Digital Art Festival and Athens International Film Festival. He has also participated in several group art exhibitions and in 2015 he had his first solo show ‘Monomorphia‘ in Athens. He graduated with a first class degree and an award from the National Center for Computer animation in the United Kingdom. His professional career started in 2005 at the Moving Pictures Company in London and a few years later he moved to the Vancouver studio. He is currently working at FramestoreNew York as a CG & FX lead, on commercials and virtual reality experiences. Over the years he has worked for feature films including Superman, Harry Potter and X-Men, commercials for clients including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm, AT&T, Microsoft and The NY Times as well as artists like Bjork and Tim Richardson. He has been invited to present his work and give guest lectures at the Institute of Architecture and Media of Graz University Austria, at the National Center for Computer animation in the United Kingdom, the design conference in Athens Digitized, the DevHour games conference in Mexico city and many others.
Vesna De Vinca Vesna De Vinca is a TV journalist, a writer and a producer. With almost 30 years of experience as a journalist shooting documentaries all around the planet, she has been the last journalist in the world to interview Nelson Mandela. Since 2004, she has been managing her own production company “De Vinča Production”. Vesna is also the author and producer of numerous charity events, and endeavours focusing on environmental protection, culture, fashion and beauty. De Vinča has served on the jury of the European Independent Film Festival since 2007.
Rebecca Calder Rebecca Calder is an actress and producer who began her career on the London stage. Her television work with the BBC is extensive, yet she is best known for the Emmy Award winning US series Hatfield’s & Mccoys playing opposte Kevin Costner. Her Independent film work includes her award winning role in the feature Love Me Do and The Dark Mile. Most recently she can be seen in Nat Geo’s upcoming series Genius: Picasso, playing Coco Chanel.
Paul Anderson Paul Anderson runs an independent freelance video, features and communications enterprise, specializing in European political news, election observation, climate change and institutional videos for the international development community. These include the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN, NATO and the EU, directing, filming and scripting features in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Sudan, Chad, Russia, Georgia and across the EU. Between 1990 and 2007, he worked for the BBC as correspondent, presenter and regional editor, including resident correspondent postings in Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Pakistan/Afghanistan. He made documentaries on events in Afghanistan shown at the independent film festivals in Dubai, Raindance London, Burbank USA and Hamburg. He obtained a BA in German and Russian from the University of London and he have been working with ECU for the past 12 years.
Paul Wyett Paul Wyett is a Writer/Director living in London. He established Pimlico Films in 2014, creating shorts 'Westminster Girls' ,'Emily goes to Pimlico' and 'Isabella'. He is currently developing the TV series 'Victoria Coach'. Sydney is his first submission to film festivals.
Fabian Marquez Fabian Marquez is a writer/producer on the upcoming NBCUniversal series Spides (SyFy). Other writing credits include Better Luck Tomorrow (the debut film of Justin Lin) and the Academy Award-nominated short, Johnny Flynton (with director Lexi Alexander). When he’s not writing, Fabian serves as Senior Creative Director at Centerline Digital where he directs brand films and branded content for Fortune 50 companies. His background also includes extensive experience in feature post production, on staff at both New Line Cinema and DreamWorks Pictures.
Scott Hillier Scott Hillier is an Australian Director / Cinematographer / Screenwriter. Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television school as well as literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. He has taught a Masters Degree course in Screenwriting as well as journalism at the Centre de Formation des Journaliste (CFJ) in Paris. In addition to serving as President of The European Independent Film Festival he is also Chief Creative Officer for the Zs2 Media Group in Paris.

Authorization type

    Exclusive Contract

Duration (several sessions)

    18

Film Festival Features

  • Red Carpet
  • Celebrity Guest
  • Film Screen
  • Trophy
  • Copyright transactions
  • Prize
  • Certificate

Dates & Deadlines

  • 2022-04-30
    Submission start time

  • 2022-11-27
    Earlybird Deadline

  • 2022-12-25
    Regular Deadline

  • 2023-01-22
    Late Deadline

  • 2023-01-29
    Extended Deadline

  • 2023-01-29
    Submission end time

  • 2023-03-22
    Finalist notification start time

  • 2023-03-22
    Finalist notification end time

  • 2023-04-14
    Award ceremony start time

  • 2023-04-16
    Award ceremony end time

Categories and fees

  • Non-European Dramatic Feature Film
    Video length :31 - 180
    Completed since 1st September 2020 No more than 50% of the funding can be from a major studio or a corporation

    2022/11/27
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 110 Dollar

    2022/12/25
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 115 Dollar

    2023/01/22
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 120 Dollar

    2023/01/29
    Extended Deadline

    Standard: 130 Dollar

  • Non-European Dramatic Short Film
    Video length :0 - 30
    Completed since 1st September 20 No more than 50% of the funding can be from a major studio or a corporation

    2022/11/27
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 65 Dollar

    2022/12/25
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 70 Dollar

    2023/01/22
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 75 Dollar

    2023/01/29
    Extended Deadline

    Standard: 80 Dollar

  • Non-European Documentary Film
    Video length :1 - 59
    Completed since 1st September 2020 No more than 50% of the funding can be from a major studio or a corporation

    2022/11/27
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 75 Dollar

    2022/12/25
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 80 Dollar

    2023/01/22
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 85 Dollar

    2023/01/29
    Extended Deadline

    Standard: 95 Dollar

  • Student Film Short
    Video length :1 - 59
    Completed since 1st September 2020 No more than 50% of the funding can be from a major studio or a corporation

    2022/11/27
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 35 Dollar

    Student: 35 Dollar

    2022/12/25
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 40 Dollar

    Student: 40 Dollar

    2023/01/22
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 45 Dollar

    Student: 45 Dollar

    2023/01/29
    Extended Deadline

    Standard: 50 Dollar

    Student: 50 Dollar

  • Student Film
    Video length :60 - 100
    Completed since 1st September 2020 No more than 50% of the funding can be from a major studio or a corporation

    2022/11/27
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 35 Dollar

    Student: 35 Dollar

    2022/12/25
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 40 Dollar

    Student: 40 Dollar

    2023/01/22
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 45 Dollar

    Student: 45 Dollar

    2023/01/29
    Extended Deadline

    Standard: 50 Dollar

    Student: 50 Dollar

  • Non-European Documentary Film
    Video length :60 - 180
    Completed since 1st September 2020 No more than 50% of the funding can be from a major studio or a corporation

    2022/11/27
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 75 Dollar

    2022/12/25
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 80 Dollar

    2023/01/22
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 85 Dollar

    2023/01/29
    Extended Deadline

    Standard: 95 Dollar

  • Feature Script Competition
    Script :31 - 240
    We at ÉCU understand that for many talented writers - especially those without representation - it is difficult getting scripts read by the people that matter: directors, producers and heads of development. That’s why we decided to launch ÉCU's Much More than a Script Competition back in 2009. We will read scripts in English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian before making an official selection of the very best.

    2022/11/27
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 60 Dollar

    Student: 60 Dollar

    2022/12/25
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 65 Dollar

    Student: 65 Dollar

    2023/01/22
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 70 Dollar

    Student: 70 Dollar

    2023/01/29
    Extended Deadline

    Standard: 80 Dollar

    Student: 80 Dollar

  • Short Script Competition
    Script :1 - 30
    We at ÉCU understand that for many talented writers - especially those without representation - it is difficult getting scripts read by the people that matter: directors, producers and heads of development. That’s why we decided to launch ÉCU's Much More than a Script Competition back in 2009. We will read scripts in English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian before making an official selection of the very best.

    2022/11/27
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 40 Dollar

    Student: 40 Dollar

    2022/12/25
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 45 Dollar

    Student: 45 Dollar

    2023/01/22
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 50 Dollar

    Student: 50 Dollar

    2023/01/29
    Extended Deadline

    Standard: 60 Dollar

    Student: 60 Dollar

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