« David Law at the Hotel Meridien Montparnasse, Restaurant Justine | Main | Snapshots from Wednesday night »

ÉCU European Independent Film Festival 2009

Will Hutchins writing for I V Y paris

TheJudgesRoom The fourth annual edition of the ÉCU European Independent Film Festival set up camp last weekend at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France François-Mitterand in order to splash a little limelight on some of the continent’s aspiring indie cinéastes.

A line-up of shorts, documentaries and feature length films from Europe and a few from the globe’s other corners was on show to Paris’ cinema loving public, as well q and a sessions with some of the directors, and the chance to attend workshops on editing and screenwriting.

Walking through the often Star Wars looking aesthetic of the BNF François-Mitterand at the weekend, one could tell that this was very much a global affair with the large amount of Anglophones present, plus the fact that it’s a festival for the whole of Europe, meaning that English was the default language ahead of French.
And obviously there were many English language films being shown from the UK and US (and surprisingly even France with the student horror spoof ‘Til Death Do Us Part’).

Amongst the standouts of which was ‘Captive’, the sinister critique of big business by Gus Alvarez, Mark Gutteridge’s ‘Intercom’ starring the superb Marc Warren and on the more abstract side the sensory experience of the claustrophobically lit ‘The Flies’ directed by Josh Collier.

The Middle-East was represented by the Israeli film ‘On the Road to Tel-Aviv’ which brilliantly demonstrates the tension between Jews and Muslims in a traditionally well structured story. Whilst in the more inventive ‘Cheeese….’, about a Kurdish family waiting for the US army in the basement of their collapsed house during the Iraq war, Austrian student Hüsseyin Tabak exceptionally employs the cinematic device of occasionally stopping movement on screen to show still photos taken by one of the characters, whilst the sound continues, in order to shed light on scenes in an other wise darkly lit film. A device used to devastating affect in the film’s final moments. Another impressive student film was Spanish entrant ‘44987373-V’ a bizarre and slightly creepy piece but one that was enjoyable from beginning to the end. And the young Czech filmmaker Tomas Rehorek deserves a mention for his beautifully shot feature length ‘Promeny’.

The French stuck to their guns in Eric Capitaine’s short ‘Love is Dead’ which deployed a simple, yet funny and clever tale of relationships, love and loss. The concept of a company (Love is Dead) that will handle otherwise complicated break-ups on your behalf was one of my personal favourites of the festival.

Highlights in the animated film category was the fleetingly brief but joyously hilarious story of one man’s relationship with God via telephone in Matthew Walker’s ‘Operator’ and my absolute favourite of everything I saw, the awe-inspiring, spell-binding surrealist graphic art of ‘Muto’ by Blu. Stop-motion animation painted on public walls in Buenos Aires. If you’ve never seen it then search it on youtube right now.

Overall, it was a good mix of films short and long from far and wide by young and old with certain young stars shining brighter than rest. Hopefully, the festival can continue to grow and become a major function on the international independent film festival calendar.

List of the festival's award winners here.

Photo features the ECU Judges' room by Anita Falusi

Bonapart Paris apartments


Post a comment

Search the site

Paris Resources

  • Bonapart Paris - the art of real estate
  • Eurostar Voice of a City - Bonapart and I V Y paris
  • Franglo
  • Gogo Paris
  • Paris Craigslist

More sites to explore...


Site notices

  •  Subscribe in a reader

    Add to My AOL

    Subscribe in Bloglines

    Add to Google

    Copyright © Susie Hollands.