ÉCU Official Selection 2016

ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival is excited to announce its Official Selection of films that will be showcased at the 11th edition of the festival. ÉCU 2016 proudly screened 81 films from 37 countries on April 8th, 9th, 10th 2016 in Paris, France.

Animated Films

After the End

Director: Sam Southward
Country: United Kingdom

World’s first post-apocalyptic rom-com that explores the possibility that the only thing worse than being the last man on earth is being the second to last man on earth.

Rosso Papavero

Director: Martin Smatana
Country
: Slovakia

Once upon a starry night, a small boy with a head full of fantasies witnesses dreamlike circus performances.

TATUAPE MAHAL TOWER

Director: Fernanda Salloum
Country: Brazil

Javier Juarez Garcia, an Argentinian scale model figure, decided to live in Sao Paulo. After a betrayal, he wants to change his life and travels around the world. But he never forgot about his real goal: come back and take revenge from the ones who disappointed him.

THE OLD MAN AND THE BIRD

Director: Dennis Stein-Schomburg
Country
: Germany

An inventively animated rumination on love, on bidding farewell and the cycle of life.

WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT COSMOS

Director: Konstantin Bronzit
Country: Russia

Two cosmonauts, two friends, try to do their best in their everyday training life to make their common dream a reality. But this story is not only about the dream.

Arab Selection

BALANJA

Director:  Ali Raheem
Country: Iraq

Four people from Kurdistan ­Iraq (Halabja) strive to save their town from the hardship and bitterness of the past.

BESIEGED BREAD 

Director: Soudade Kaadan
Country
: Syrian Arab Republic

Syria 2015. It’s a long day of smuggling bread to the besieged area. A standing tree is her only shelter. He runs away leaving everything behind him. They both know there is no escape.

LITTLE GANDHI

Director: Sam Kadi 
Country: Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, United States

The story of iconic Syrian peace activist Ghiyath Matar whose brutal torture and death at the age of 26 outraged the international community and erupted into one of the most violent uprisings in modern history.

SPARKS 

Director: Areej Mahmoud
Country
: Lebanon

A young man, who delivers ‘shisha’ in the Hamra area in Beirut, is obsessed with catcalling girls walking alone in the street. Things may change when he messes with the wrong girl.

Comedy Films

DISCIPLINE

Director: Christophe M. Saber
Country: Switzerland

9:30pm in a grocery store run by Egyptians in Lausanne, Switzerland. In a moment of anger, a father loses his patience and disciplines his disobedient child. The situation gradually gets out of hand and descends into chaos…

MADAM BLACK

Director: Ivan Barge
Country
: New Zealand

When a glamour photographer runs over a child’s pet, he’s forced to fabricate a story about its disappearance.

THE IMMACULATE MISCONCEPTION

Director: Michael Geoghegan
Country: United Kingdom

Sinead, underage, pregnant and a virgin lives with her grandparents. Her grandmother, the matriarch of this dysfunctional family and a pious Catholic, will stop at nothing to get this birth proclaimed immaculate.

WHILE YOU WERE AWAY

Director: Ben Mallaby 
Country
: United Kingdom

A story of a normal husband and wife having a far from normal argument.

WIFEY REDUX

Director: Robert McKeon
Country: Ireland/United States

Jonathan Prendergast’s relationships with his wife, teenage daughter and his own sanity are put to the test when he becomes maniacally obsessed with warding off his daughter’s hunky new boyfriend.

Documentaries

DENNIS RODMAN’S BIG BANG IN PYONG YANG

Director: Colin Offland
Country: United Kingdom

After forging an unlikely friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Dennis Rodman wants to improve relations between North Korea and the US by staging a historic basketball game between the two countries.

WOMEN IN SINK

Director: Iris Zaki
Country
: United Kingdom,Isreal

At a hair salon owned by a Christian Arab in Haifa, Israel, the director installs a minimalist film set over the washing-basin. As she washes their hair, she converses candidly with the salon’s clients, who are Arab and Jews, on topics ranging from politics to love.

THE CUT

Director: Jeroen Pool
Country: Netherlands, United Kingdom

Dramatic Feature Films

LOVE/ME/DO

Director: Martin Stitt
Country: United Kingdom

Antonia, despite being successful, attractive, intelligent and sharp with a dry sense of humour, lives alone. In order to fill the void in her personal life she embarks on a relationship with Max, an unemployed actor.

PATRICK’S DAY

Director: Terry McMahon
Country
: Ireland

When a young man with mental health issues becomes intimate with a suicidal flight attendant, his obsessive mother enlists a dysfunctional cop to separate them.

VANITAS 

Director:  Oscar Spierenburg
Country: Belgium

Sarah follows in her father’s footsteps as an art-restorer and is confronted with the forging of masterpieces. She thereby decides to look for the ugly truth inside the world she idealizes.

Dramatic Shorts

A SHORT GUIDE TO RE-ENTRY

Director: Anwar Boulifa
Country: United Kingdom

Khalid is released from prison. He’s told that he wants a job and a place in the community, but fitting into the system isn’t always that easy.

ARTIFICIAL

Director: David P. Sañudo 
Country
: Spain

Xabier goes for a job interview. What he doesn’t know is that he has already been selected. CORPSA offers to pay him 80,000 euros if he agrees to be cloned.

BALCONY

Director: Toby Fell-Holden
Country: United Kingdom

CHERRY CAKE

Director: Jaine Green
Country
: United Kingdom

Whatever your reaction to this surprising and quirky film is, you will never look at your grandmother in the same light again.

DARIO MARTINI

Director:  Maxime Mallet
Country: France

A burlesque comedy depicting the initiatory path of a 35 year-old sexually obsessed loafer still living in close quarters with his mother.

GRANNY MUMMY

Director: Nicolas Berry
Country
: France

Blandine, a 70 year old lady gets her purse stolen by a hooligan on a motorcycle. Fortunately, she receives a phone call that tells her that someone found her bag. They make an appointment, and she leaves…

HORSEFACE

Director: Marc Martínez Jordán
Country: Spain

A 20 Euro budget Comedy-Horror-Science Fiction-Thriller-Animal Drama short film starring filmmakers’s Grandma and the filmmaker himself.

LAST TRAIN HOME

Director: Ansgar Glatt 
Country
: Germany

As Emily takes the last train home one night, Christian gets on the train. In this abandoned world under the city, Christian must show if he is as capable as his attacker..

MONICA

Director: Dimitris Argyriou
Country: Bosnia / Germany

Monica wanted to become hair dresser, when she was young… Things went wrong…This is her story… Based on a real interview with a human trafficking victim.

MOTH

Director: Tess Löwenhardt
Country
: Netherlands

Elmer works as a night cleaner in a hospital where he comes into contact with a young female drug addict, who dies in the hospital. When she is dead, Elmer wants to experience his deepest fantasy.

PAN-DEMIA

Director: Rubén Sainz
Country: Spain

A neighbourhood like any other, an ordinary shop…anything can happen when despair changes everything.

PUT DOWN 

Director: Rick Limentani
Country
: United Kingdom

John, a socially awkward man who lacks the power of empathy, is in a downward spiral, slowly dropping out of society, until a lucky accident and an impromptu lie suddenly propel him into a new profession as a black-market pet exterminator.

RAINBOW PARTY

Director: Eva Sigurdardottir
Country: Iceland / United Kingdom

In her quest to be accepted by the popular girls in her class, Sofia finds herself sacrificing her true friendships and morals. Whoever said that teenage girls were innocent… well, they were so wrong!

THE CHICKEN

Director: Una Gunjak
Country
: Croatia

As a present for her 6th birthday, Selma gets a live chicken. When she realises the animal is going to be killed to feed the family, she decides to save it and set it free, unaware of the high stakes such action will lead to.

THE MAN OF MY LIFE

Director: Martin Stitt
Country: United Kingdom

When Alice sees Eric kissing another girl, she is devastated. To make matters worse, her rival runs with her in the same relay team. Alice might only be 13 but she is not ready to give up her place so easily.

THE SEED 

Director: Barney Frydman
Country
: Belgium

Steve and Karim are two 17 year old guys from the streets. One evening, they commit one crime too many, accidentally causing a woman’s death… But their problem does not stop there…

THE SESSION 

Director: Edouard de la Poëze
Country: France

Paris, 1899. The sultry Countess of Castiglione entrusts a last portrait of her to her talented photographer. Under the prying eye of the divine aristocrat’s servants, the session will prove to be more disturbing than expected.

THE WAY OF TEA

Director: Marc Fouchard 
Country
: France

In a small town in Northern France, Alex, a young skinhead, enters Malik’s grocery store.

TRANQUILITY OF BLOOD

Director: Senad Sahmanovic
Country: Montenegro / Serbia

Is desire for revenge stronger than desire for life? Is it possible to forgive and close the cycle? This is a film of the state of mind, great reflections and even greater decisions.

WELCOME

Director: Javier Fesser
Country
: Spain

An amazing innovation reaches a tiny school lost in the heart of the Peruvian Andes and revolutionizes the lives of the whole community: the Internet.

Experimental Films

BEYOND THE WATER

Director:  Marco Rizzo 
Country: Italy

A girl sitting on the sand, waiting with a gun in her hands looking at the sea. Something appears on the hozizon: men, women and children trying to swim to reach the seashore.

GENESIS

Director:  Roman Hill 
Country: United States

From chaos, matter flows and creates a structure.

REFUGEES

Directors: Eduardo Hernandez Perez, Hans Jaap Melissen
Country
: Netherlands

In an attempt to restore the humane perspective of the refugee crisis and offer new insights to the public, Scopic used the art of Virtual Reality (VR) storytelling and brought it to the shores of Lesbos, Greece.

Music Videos

Bit-Tuner – IMMUNE

Director:  Roland von Tessin & Alice Zurbuchen
Country: Switzerland

This video is about the power of sound, light and rhythm and a journey from firelit darkness into a galactic light.

Cais Sodré Funk Connection – OFFBEAT

Director:  Richard F. Coelho
Country: Portugal

This music video shows the band in a desolate and void industrial location, coexisting with various surreal Gaiman-like characters.

Ewert and The Two Dragons – CIRCLES

Director: Helen Takkin
Country
: Netherlands

The video tells a story about the suffocating reality when someone you care about decides to leave from your life, and the emotions that arise from this kind of situation

INVENTING MYSELF

Director:  Pascui Rivas
Country: Colombia, United States

This breakthrough film features completely nude women and pays homage to the French sensuality in films from the 60s and 70s.

Red – JADUDAH

Director: Maida Hals
Country
: Norway

A wedding photo captures the love for a short moment, a strange moment that might last an eternity. Music video for Jadudah.

Non-European Documentaries

FORTY DAYS OF PINES

Director:  Atieh Attarzadeh Firozabad
Country: Iran

The filmmaker, who eight years ago sent a loved one to Tehran’s Aminabad mental hospital, never had the courage to visit him. She now returns to the hospital and hands the camera to the patients to film their daily lives.

LIFE ON THE BORDER

Directors: Basmeh Soleiman, Delovan Kekha, Diar Omar, Hazem Khodeideh, Mahmod Ahmad, Ronahi Ezaddin & Zohour Saeid
Country
: Iran

A documentary made by eight children from Kobani and Shengal in refugee camps on the border of Syria and Iraq. They recorded their own life experiences and stories in the wake of brutal attacks by ISIS.

UNTIL 20 

Director:  Jamila Paksima & Geraldine Moriba
Country: United States

UNTIL 20 is a documentary about the inspirational life of James Ragan, a Texas native and promising young golfer. What James does after receiving a life threatening diagnosis is a story you’ll never forget.

TODAY IS THE DAY

Directors: Betsy Haley Hershey
Country
: United States

Deep in Mexico, Carlos, an indigenous Tarahumara who left home to be trained as a nurse, has returned to try to save babies and mothers who have been dying at a high rate during childbirth.

Non-European Feature Films

CORD

Director:  Pablo Gonzalez 
Country: Colombia, France, Germany

In a post-apocalyptic world, where sexual contact is no longer possible, a dealer of masturbation devices and a sex junkie team up in pursuit of pleasure.

FOR ALL EYES ALWAYS

Director: Rob Gordon Bralver
Country: United States

In the aftermath of the Edward Snowden and Julian Assange leaks, the CIA creates a reality show about itself in order to appear more transparent and trustworthy – but how much of the show is propaganda?

KIDNAP CAPITAL 

Director: Felipe Rodriguez
Country
: Canada

Trapped and tortured inside a Phoenix ‘Drop House’ after being captured in the Arizona desert, a group of helpless, illegal migrants must unite and find a way to escape the violent Human Kidnapping Ring holding them hostage.

Non-European Shorts

BEDTIME STORY

Director:  Kanin Chandrasma
Country: Thailand

A mother tells a bedtime story to her young daughter. An unexpected turn of events creates a summary of the message intended for this short film.

HEADLOCK

Director: Garreth Stover
Country: United States

A random, violent encounter between two men from vastly different backgrounds changes both of their lives.

LORNE

Director: Jesse Leaman
Country
: Australia

Lorne, a wasteland traveller dealing with the oppressing boundaries of isolation, is confronted by a mysterious stranger, who helps him realise his existential fears.

MOTHER’S DAY

Director: Jeff Tan 
Country: United States

Tragedy forces Mary and her son Jay to say goodbye forever.

MY GUARDIAN ANGEL 

Directors: Cheyanne Kane & Judy Phu
Country
: United States

The bloodied corpse speaks to her — a disembodied voice from the desert.

NO GOOD TURN 

Director: Udoka Oyeka
Country: Nigeria / Canada

A Boko Haram terrorist attack has destroyed the police station and the market of a small town in Northern Nigeria. In charge of an overcrowded hospital, Dr. Gbenga and his staff are helping the victims, when a young man suspected to be one of the terrorists is brought in.

PRESTIGE INGREDIENTS 

Directors: Adrian Rubi Dentzel & Danielle Rubi
Country
: United States / France

A stifled, young Hollywood actress slips into a world of mouthwatering delicacies, sweet heartache, and bitter tears when she takes an unlikely job with an inspired rebel chef in Paris, France.

THE RUNNER

Director: Justin Berardi
Country: United States

THE RUNNER is a short film with no dialogue about a recovering alcoholic who turns to running as a way of confronting his past and seeking a deeper, unknown purpose.

THUNDER ROAD 

Director:  Jim Cummings
Country
: United States

Jimmy Arnaud loved his Mom.

Student Films

AT DAWN 

Director:  Omri Burstyn
Country: Isreal

Ali, a Palestinian-Israeli teenager, tries to fit in with an Israeli activist peace group, but in a violence stricken society getting hurt is inevitable.

BIDE

Director: Dominic Read
Country: United Kingdom

An elderly man with dementia has forgotten his only daughter and runs away from home.

DESK

Director:  Youjune Kim
Country
: South Korea

Mr. Ma has been in the office hallway for three months. He wants to go into the office as he did in the past. One day, a turtle appears in front of him.

MAMAN AND THE OCEAN

Director: David Wagner
Country: Germany

Plastic bags kill. As far as that, Miro and his mother have the same opinion. Only Miro’s mother is thinking about the ocean while Miro is thinking about Lorenzo.

MAYDAY RELAY 

Director:  Florian Tscharf
Country
: Germany

A German sailor and his daughter receive a mayday-call on the Mediterranean sea and change the course of their little sailing boat to help out.

PERSPECTIVES 

Director: Johannes Kizler
Country: Germany

In a post-apocalyptic world a young man fights against fearsome mutants. But thats just his way of seeing things.

SEMILIBERI

Director:  Matteo Gentiloni
Country
: Italy

Women prisoners in jail try to get pregnant

STYX INN

Director: Zhan Wang
Country: United States

In a highly capitalist society where the suicide rate is soaring, a 19-year-old pregnant girl is losing the will to live and decides to use the services of a hotel, the Styx Inn, that specializes in assisted suicides.

SUGAR

Director:  Christian Grier
Country
: United States

Terry, a high school senior, searches for his identity after his girlfriend confesses her love for him.

SWEEPER’S PRIDE

Director: Matthias Koßmehi
Country: Germany

Night after night Bodo sweeps the empty city streets. Attracted by electronic basses and gleaming lights he comes across a vernissage and makes a familiar discovery.

THE TYPIST  

Director:  Kristine Stolakis 
Country
: United States

A gay Korean War Veteran reflects on his time as the office clerk tasked with writing the discharges of outed gay sailors.

THE VAN BOMMEL BROTHERS 

Director: Laurens Jans
Country: Belgium

THE VAN BOMMEL BROTHERS explores the painful confrontation between individuality and loyalty, the tragedy of a marginal existence and the search for a way out.