Cinema is an art form that needs to be simultaneously nourished and challenged and ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival provides the perfect arena for indie filmmakers to express authentic cinematic storytelling in the most compelling ways possible. As one the World’s truly stand out independent film festivals, ÉCU embraces innovation and creativity and allows directors in competition to showcase their films to audiences who appreciate and love independent cinema. Filmmakers who are selected into ÉCU’s Official Selection join an active community of creatives who continually push the boundaries of indie cinema.
'I'm so grateful and honoured... Your festival is an amazing opportunity to celebrate independent films and filmmakers' - Iris Zaki, director of 'WOMEN IN SINK', the winner of the Best European Independent Documentary 2016.
"I had such a great time at the festivals. Really, amazing films, interesting filmmakers. It was an inspirational visit for me. Thanks to you all for your enthusiastic and truly supportive organization! You're awesome!"
- Martijn Winkler, director of #tagged, winner of Best Director award at ÉCU 2018
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.
Spring is not only a fabulous time for Paris but an exciting time for ÉCU because that is when we showcase roughly around 100 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 14th edition, will take place on the 5th, 6th and 7th of May, 2019 in Paris, France.
ÉCU isn’t just all about screening an amazing slate of films over its three-day event in Paris in April. 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 continual dialogue celebrating and 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 over 50 partner festivals, partner organizations, film centres and film commissions, ÉCU’s goes on an annual world tour called ÉCU-On-The-Road, which gives award-winning films (as well as many of the Official Selection films) the opportunity to have their films screened to a broader, global audience. ÉCU-On-The-Road showcased films in over 80 countries around the globe in 2016 - 2018 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.
Since 2006, ÉCU has helped the careers of literally hundreds of independent filmmakers, actors, DPs, editors, screenwriters and is honoured to be firmly established as one of the World’s eminent indie film festivals.
Above all, we are proud to be a filmmakers’ festival!
Prizes range from year to year, but are donated by partners like Syrp, Adaptive Sound, Les Machineurs, Zacuto, SellAScript.com, Film Inquiry, Kingston, IED, InkTip, Parrot, Syrp, Red Giant, Write Brothers, Beachtek 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 1st September, 2017.