Scott Hillier highlights upcoming talent at ECU Film Festival launch

ECU Film Festival Scott Hillier

On the evening of the 13th March 2012, film directors, film enthusiasts and a supporting public gathered to celebrate the inauguration of the ECU film festival.

With the lights dimmed, loud music and a flowing stream of people at the bar, the festive spirit took hold of the Scopitone Club in the heart of Paris. It was the prelude to a 3-day festival which will showcase 101 films from 33 countries, including 9 world premieres and 5 European premieres from the 30thMarch to 1st April.

Scott Hillier, founder of the ECU film festival highlighted the outstanding creativity of this year´s candidates.

We love showing stories. You will find something here that will surprise you: something that you will not find at your local cinema

The award-winning director decided to create the ECU after being inspired by the Sundance Festivals in the States. Once back on European soil, he was faced with a panorama absent of independent film festivals… 7 years on and the ECU has become an international network for young striving talent.

To be successful in this business you have to have an overwhelming desire to tell a story, if you don´t believe in yourself, no one will.

Whilst taking advantage of exercising complete creative authority, he found his story in recently freed Libya. Returning just 2 days before the ECU Launch, Hillier and his team uncovered the world of Jihan Mansur Kikhia, a woman who, under the power of Gadafi, strove to find out more about her father´s past as the Foreign Affairs Minister.

Perseverance and self-esteem

Following his own example, Scott Hillier claims that you have to always want to go that little bit further. “It is the difference between what is good and what is great”. Whilst looking back at his career of being a war cameraman for the BBC, his future steers away from the threat of conflict, however, he is not lowering the bar: “I want to be better than everyone else”.

A word with last year´s winner

Gabriella Cserhati from Hungry has enjoyed pleasant success after winning the Best Film Prize in 2011 for co-directing the film 27m² with Fabien Lartigue. Her film, having been diffused in 11 countries took a total of three years to accomplish.

“It is an improvised film. First we shot it and then we wrote it. The film is made up of split screens showing two points of view. This refers to human subjectivity.”

Whilst showing slight contempt for strict academic teaching, Cserhati belives that:

You need the pressure of the real world to push you to find your own style

Forming part of the panel this year, she is excited by the line-up of films that are soon to be revealed at the festival. Gabriella admits that she is looking for a film that has taken risks even though she does not wish to reveal her favourite.

Jury members of this year’s ECU film festival which starts on the 30th March include Carlo Varini, Alvaro Ramos and Award winning animation director Vicky Mather.

film industry network members