ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival proudly provides the platform for independent filmmakers to express authentic, cinematic storytelling in the most compelling ways possible.

As one of the world’s most recognised independent film festivals in the world, ÉCU embraces innovation and creativity and allows directors in competition to showcase their films to audiences who love and appreciate independent cinema. Filmmakers who are selected into ÉCU’s Official Selection join an active community of creatives who are continually pushing the boundaries of independent cinema.

Since its inception in 2006, ÉCU has forged a path for independent film and the scope of its presence has grown to a global scale with the festival often being referenced as the European equivalent of Sundance; an honour that we don’t take lightly.

"It is always an absolute joy to present one's work at ECU. The team are fantastically helpful, the jury extremely competent, and the selection of the highest quality. I would recommend participating to anyone who's in love with indie filmmaking!" - Celina Liesegang, producer of Viscera: Autopsy of a (non)human body, ÉCU 2022 Official Selection

"It's always a pleasure having our films at ÉCU, especially this year with our awarded short film "Useless"! The communication has been great during the whole process and our filmmakers are so excited to be part of this competition. See you again next year with new projects!" - Marta Salvador Tato, distributor of USELESS, the winner of the Best European Independent Dramatic Short award 2022

"It was an absolute privilege to be part of the ÉCU Film Festival and in the company of so many incredible and high quality independent films! What truly fantastic programming and as a filmmaker you are really made to feel part of a passionate global community of people who really believe in the same values around story telling and visual expression. Thank you to the whole team behind the scenes." - Karina Astrup, producer of MORGANA, ÉCU 2021 Official Selection

Each year, our festival takes place in Paris during the springtime, which is not only a beautiful season but also an exciting time of year for ÉCU, because that is when we showcase roughly around 80 of the World’s very best independent films. Although ÉCU emphasises European talent, it also recognises the genius of international filmmakers with several categories allocated to non-European films.

The next ÉCU, the 19th edition, will take place on the 19th, 20th and 21th of April, 2024 in Paris, France.

ÉCU isn’t just about screening an amazing slate of films over its three-day event in Paris. There are also professional workshops led by experts in the industry, Q&A’s held with the attending filmmakers after every screening session and a chance to network with fellow filmmakers, producers, agents, industry representatives, prospective film buyers and, of course, the cinema-loving public. At ÉCU, there is a dialogue focusing on celebrating but also critiquing the world’s best indie cinema of today.

Though ÉCU’s main event IS the three-day festival in Paris each spring, there is even more! Thanks to our 50+ partner festivals, partner organisations, film centres and film commissions, ÉCU goes on an annual world tour called ÉCU-On-The-Road. This gives award-winning films (as well as many of the Official Selection films) the opportunity for their films to reach a broader, global, international audience.

ÉCU-On-The-Road showcased films in over 80 countries around the globe in 2016 to 2023 at special ÉCU mini-festivals, partner festivals, cultural institutions and film schools, including an amazing seven day special festival in São Paulo, Brazil. The event was made possible through the support of Caixa Cultural, São Paulo and was a huge success. ÉCU also held special events in Berlin (Germany), Atami (Japan) and was part of festivals in Lebanon, Italy, Russia, USA, Romania, Austria, Denmark and ot­her countries. This gives ÉCU filmmakers great exposure to audiences that they may never have reached otherwise.
Since 2006, ÉCU has helped the careers of hundreds of independent filmmakers, actors, DPs, editors, screenwriters and we are honoured to give aspiring film directors the chance for their voices to be seen and heard.

Above all, we are proud to be a filmmakers’ festival!

*PLEASE NOTE: The Official Selection announcement for films is 28th February 2024 and the announcement for Much More than a Script Competition is 27th March 2024.*

Prizes range from year to year, but are donated by partners like Beachtek, Adaptive Sound, The Kitchen, O'CD, My Air Bridge, Emily Jolie, InkTip, Write Brothers and others.

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 September 1st, 2022.

Overall Rating
  • Abdulmohsen Almutairi

    Great opportunity for independent filmmakers around the world, the festival has values and I like the way people engaged and watched all the films with passionate.

    June 2023
  • Silvia Gregorova

    Absolutely amazing and professional five stars and more..❤

    April 2023
  • Reza Daghagh

    I recently had the opportunity to participate on ECU festival and I must say that it was an incredible experience. While I couldn't attend the festival in person, the festival team was incredibly kind and supportive throughout the entire process. They made sure that I felt valued as a participant, even though I was not physically present at the event.

    Despite the logistical challenges, the festival team went above and beyond to ensure that my film was viewed and judged fairly. I was absolutely thrilled to learn that I had won the best international non-European independent short film award at the festival.

    What struck me the most about this festival was the team's dedication and commitment to promoting independent film from all over the world. It was clear that they were passionate about giving independent filmmakers a platform to showcase their work and gain recognition for their talent.

    Overall, I had a wonderful experience participating in this festival and would highly recommend it to other filmmakers looking to showcase their independent work. The festival team was supportive, encouraging, and went above and beyond to ensure that participants were treated with respect and fairness. If given the chance, I would love to participate in this festival again in the future.

    April 2023
  • Everything perfect but...unfortunately it was impossible to partecipate online to the Award Ceremony because some technical problems... :-(

    April 2023
  • Yad Deen

    Excellent communication, very supportive, and a pleasure to deal with. Thank you and see you next time!

    July 2022