Écu Official Selection 2018

ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival is excited to announce its Official Selection of films that will be showcased at the 13th edition of the festival. ÉCU 2018 proudly screened 81 films from 37 countries on May 4th, 5th, 6th 2018 in Paris, France.

Animated Films

Don’t Think of a Pink Elephant

Director Suraya Raja
Country UK

We’ve all had thoughts of what might happen should we jump from a high place, drop the baby, or stab someone with a fork. Usually we can dismiss them without a care – but what if we couldn’t?

[O]

DirectorS Mario Radev and Chiara Sgatti
Country
UK

[O] is a film that imitates nature in its manner of operation. The animation depicts cycles in a world, which is entirely based on sound frequency and vibration.

Eyes Everywhere

Director Daniel Bernhardt
Country Austria

In a cold and sterile world Kaskador feels more and more uncomfortably watched. He decides to take a closer look behind the secret of the mysterious observer-drones and follows them to their maze. A musical parable about “surveillance”.

Marvin

Director Heather Rodgers
Country UK

In a city where no two characters look alike, Marvin still manages to stand out.  With the unique but uncontrollable ability to take on the physical characteristics of everybody he meets, Marvin quickly finds himself in a constant state of flux and with an ever-growing desire to fit in.

The Box

Director Dusan Kastelic
Country Slovenia

You have probably heard of the phrase ‘To think outside of the box’? Well this is a film about such a box and the flat-headed creatures that live inside of it. Life in the Box is boring and miserable. Until one day when a new baby boy starts to grown in the middle of the Box! This baby is very different from other flat-headed inhabitants of the Box. He’s happy, lively and curious. As the baby grows bigger and bigger, the flat-headed neighbours are becoming more and more annoyed with him. Until one day when he literally grows over their heads…

Planet Tobler

Director Aran Quinn
Country USA, Ireland

ITravel with us to the furthest reacher of our galaxy, where for the first time in history we bring you documented footage, of an alien planet, and it’s wildlife…never…seen…before.

Arab selection

Fareed

Director Rudy Barichello
Country Canada

Fareed is a sensitive and discreet poet, whose passion is calligraphy. He is a young man of Berber origin who has a sewing workshop in his apartment in Montreal.

Skin

Director Inaam Attar
Country 
Lebanon

A small supermarket in a blue collar town, a black man smiles at a 10 year old white boy across the checkout aisle. This innocuous moment sends two gangs into a ruthless war that ends with a shocking backlash.

Take My Hand

Director Serge Majdalany
Country Lebanon

As the shelling intensifies, Nadim (an aspiring actor) is among the neighbors that rush down to the shelter room. Leyla, a young Syrian girl, softly weeps over her torn teddy bear. Moved by the scenery, Nadim decides to put his passion into practice and take matters into his own hands… literally! He places the upper part of the teddy bear into his hand and assumes the role of a puppeteer. In the midst of despair and chaos, Leyla and the occupants are met with magic… the teddy bear comes to life.

Wasati

Director Ali kalthami
Country
Saudi Arabia

Wasati is based on true events that happened during a play in Riyadh 10 years ago. The play was called ‘Wasati bela Wastiah’ which roughly translates to ‘A Moderate Without a Middle-Ground,’ where a group of extremists attacked the theater and the play was shut down. That story shook the society and it was all over the news. The film addresses that event and retells the story from a different point of view.

Zahraa

Director Wareth Kwaish
Country
Iraq

Zahraa is a 13-year- old girl who goes to the mosque on a normal day to learn Quran reading. She reaches maturity inside the mosque!

Comedy Films

Punchline

Director: Christophe M. Saber
Country: Switzerland

Two wannabe gangsters can’t decide on the coolest thing to say before shooting Michael.

The Headlight

Director: Lonut GAGA
Country: 
Romania

God upholds there are still honest men in the world, but the Devil disagrees. A bet worth ten thousand souls is settled. Those souls will hang in the high moral principles balance of Radu Iovan. Rushing to meet his daughter who is leaving the country, he is pulled over because of a broken headlight.

Whip in Toilet

Director Ben Mallaby
Country UK

Rachel is having a bad night out. We see the evening unfold through the moments she spends in the bathroom.

Two Dollars

Director Emmanuel Tenenbaum
Country
France

After a week of leave, Sylvie is back at the Quebec company where she has been an exemplary employee for more than 15 years. She is then requested to attend a bizarre meeting.

Documentaries

Koka the Butcher

Director Bence Máté
Country Germany

Koka is a respected figure in Cairo’s suburban scene of pigeon fighters. His life revolves around the races, in which whole areas clash in a contest to hunt and capture each other’s pigeons. Living for one’s passion, however, violates the norms of Koka’s conservative area, Garbage City, where Cairo’s Christian garbage collectors live. As the face-off against one of the strongest areas in town draws nearer, the 30-year-old faces unbearable social pressure to leave pigeoneering behind, settle down and marry. A race against time begins in a peculiar world where pigeons are the foremost source of martial spirit and pride. 

Nowhere to Hide

Director Zardasht Ahmed
Country Norway

Nowhere to Hide follows male nurse Nori Sharif through five years of dramatic change, providing unique access into one of the world’s most dangerous and inaccessible areas – the “triangle of death” in central Iraq. Initially filming stories of survivors and the hope of a better future as American and Coalition troops retreat from Iraq in 2011, conflicts continue with Iraqi militias, and the population flees accompanied by most of the hospital staff

Rezo

Director Leo Gabriadze
Country
Georgia, Russian Federation

Rezo is a movie told and painted by Rezo Gabriadze, Georgian artist, writer and creator of Marionette theatre. The movie is an autobiographical animated documentary questioning ideas of deep humanity, kindness and heartiness during uneasy times after the 2nd World War.

Dramatic Feature Films

Merrick

Director Benjamin Diouris
Country France

10 years after an epidemic that killed the majority of the population, Stanislas Merrick, former boxing champion, survives alone near a remote lake. His daily life is shocked by the arrival of Esther, a teenager who escaped from a Survival Camp and is tracked down by a soldier.

Nightfall

Director Simon Aeby
Country Switzerland

Small town life in a winter landscape: A man running along the frozen lake before dawn. Alex Darkley loves nature, keeping in shape. He likes being a schoolteacher, hear the kids laughter and see them grow up. But the untroubled routine suddenly ends, when he’s haunted by violent nightmares, images he can not explain.

Route 66

Director Najib Ghallale
Country
Belgium

Nourredine Zerrad, aka Noon, is a 37 years old filmmaker who started making movies in 1993. His journey and his never-ending quest supported by a crazy dream motivated this project. In 2013 he meets Jean-Claude Van Damme who offers him to work on his latest film, Eagle Path aka Full Love.

Too Much Info Clouding Over My Head

Director Vasilis Christofilakis
Country Greece

Vasilis is an overanxious young director and great aficionado of cult horror movies who is desperately searching for success. His first film Gay Nazi Cyborg Zombies in Love was a total flop.

Waiting Room

Director Alexander Leontaritis
Country
Cyprus

Four total strangers wake up, one after the other, under mysterious circumstances, in what seems to be an abandoned warehouse. When they first meet, they don’t know each other, and they seem to be completely unrelated.

Dramatic Shorts

#tagged

Director Martijn Winkler
Country Netherlands

#tagged is the story of Elise, a 14 year old girl, and her mobile phone. We watch as the content she posts on different social media gets out of hand, and out of her control. Her phone turns from being her best friend to her worst enemy…

Aquathlon

Director Alexey Shabarov
Country Russian Federation

The mother sent the teenager to learn how to swim with a good trainer. After the first classes, the boy staged a local revolution in the pool. It seemed more important to resist than to learn how to swim.

Aziza

Director Jochem de Vries
Country
Netherlands

Aziza is a 20-year-old woman from Moroccan background who still lives at home with her brother, sister and parents in Amsterdam. She works in the weekends in a pharmacy and studies the rest of the week. She has a boyfriend who she loves and is secretly seeing. Aziza now has become pregnant, which wasn’t planned. She doesn’t want her family to find out about her secret.

Downunder

Director FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ GÓMEZ
Country Spain

Daniel goes to the Tenant population, is the year 81 in the American Southwest. The sun is beating down and passes the old familiar chevi bill. Daniel gets thrown roadside of a sea shore. In this place there are very few cars, it is not advisable to travel alone. If those ditches talk…

Guests always return

Director Diego Sabanés
Country
Spain

Laura and Miguel are a perfect couple. Who wouldn´t want to live in their house?

Has#tag

Directors Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Country Belgium

Marie gets to know Kevin online, the most sweetest and romantic boy she ever spoke…She’s already dreaming of their future together, but then he asks for nude pictures…

Les Miserables

Director Ladj Ly
Country
France

In a modern day Parisian neighborhood of Victor Hugo’s novel, a new transfer cop learns abusive policing practices of two veterans. When a young boy records them going too far, the community threathens to explode.

Lockdown

Director Koen Van Sande
Country Belgium

In his own natural habitat, the infamous Brussels’ neighbourhood Molenbeek that appeared in the international news several times after terrorist attacks in Europe, director Koen Van Sande tells a story about paranoia and misunderstandings.

Mobius Bond

Director Emilija Riviere
Country
Lithuania

A girl experiences strange body symptoms, which become an evidence of a Mobius-like topology of the Universe.

Nation Down

Director Liam Hendrix Heath
Country UK

On a strange world locked in a dystopian nightmare, an oppressive regime is met with riots and rebellion. Desperate to suppress chaos, the king triggers a perverse manipulative scheme before risking his dominance in a warped bid for companionship.

No Ghosts

Director Ragnar Snorrason
Country
Iceland

Trying to come to terms with the loss of her brother, eight-year-old Ruth leaves a birthday party during a game of hide and seek and goes searching for his ghost.

On the bench

Director Csaba Vékes
Country Hungary

Márton is a substitute for a third-class soccer team, but he dreams, that he can run a professional career. He is passionate about this hobby twice a week, when he does not go home immediately after work, where his wife and his little child are waiting him. He goes on to workout. Because this is his freedom.

Scratched Blue Sky

Director Cyrus Esfandiari
Country
Netherlands

A short film about the story of a little Syrian girl in a Dutch AZC.

Sparta North

Director Julia Hart
Country UK

A young woman visiting her hometown is on her way to a party when she suffers a shocking accident. Can she still face the people from her past? Sparta North: a fable about regrets and returning home.

Sweetheart

Director Johan Egholm Nielse
Country
Denmark

On a derelict farm, far from civilization lives an abused, mute and very retarded man together with his mother, who is a serial killer. One day, he falls in love with a woman, who his mother has kidnapped, and he is forced to break loose from his mother’s claws, so that the love can blossom between him and the kidnapped woman.

The Elephant

Director Kerren Lumer-Klabber
Country Denmark

Magnus celebrates his birthday and as usual he entertains his guests with crazy stories. Everybody knows that he is lying but no one says anything. Magnus has planned to give his girlfriend Cille a key to his apartment. But as the party progresses his stories gets crazier and one lie takes another. Eventually his girlfriend Cille leaves the party hurt and angry. Magnus is left with his birthday guest and the key for his apartment.

THE GIRLS WERE DOING NOTHING

Director Dekel Berenson
Country
UK

The Girls Were Doing Nothing is a study into the conflicting nature of love and the human soul – our basic needs for stability, comfort and routine which clash with equality strong desires for novelty, variety and freedom.

Wave

Directors Benjamin Cleary, TJ O’Grady Peyton
Country Ireland

A man wakes up from a coma speaking a fully formed but unrecognizable language, baffling linguistics experts from around the globe.

Wren Boys

Director Harry Lighton
Country
UK

On the day after Christmas, a Catholic priest from Cork drives his nephew to prison.

Experimental Films

Escape Route

Director Dirk Koy
Country Switzerland

A 360° trip through photogrammed city pieces of Basel. A visual score to the music of Boris Blank (Yello)

Plasma Vista

Directors Harriet and Sarah Fleuriot and Cockings
Country
UK

Plasma Vista allowed us to explore themes of economics, production, creativity and collaboration. Objects and devices become bodily and manipulative. The magician is a composed cartoon machine repeating tricks and equations. When products become prosthetics does the accessory take some emotional control?

The Third Breath

Director Jonathan Mandel
Country France

The third breath deploys as the synergetic meeting between three individualities. The painter-performer Yon Costes, the dancer Yutaka Nakata and the composer Aleksi Aubry Carlson mix here their disciplines in a powerful impulse fed by their singular personalities and by their complementary creative dynamics.

Think of Something Blue

Director Jerry De Mars
Country
Greece, Netherlands

Think of something blue is based on a Dutch Poem by Martijn den Ouden. It portrays a man, dealing with loneliness and mourning, comforted by memories of his loved one.

Music Videos

Famelica

Director Basculante
Country Italy

Using cannibalism as a metaphor, the video tells the story of a girl who seems unable to deal with her own emotionality, her human relations being marked by a high degree of inaffectivity.

KCPK – The End

Director Loïc Andrieu
Country
France

The cinematic video is capturing a teenage girl’s worst nightmare through adolescent angst, bathed in underlying sexual tension, and depicts the inevitable end of youth and purity.

NEOMADiC – Languid Flowz

Director Sean Cunningham
Country Ireland

Official music for Nomadics single ‘Languid Flowz’, featuring their two space faring mascots.

Split Second

Director Guillaume Letellier
Country
France

In the shade of a dark room a band is playing music and singing. The faces of men are not recognizable and scattered archive images give a retro-futuristic atmosphere.

STARDUST (Band : Next Is Best)

Director Etienne Fu-Le Saulnier
Country France

Within Death’s lair, a young girl wanders through the darkness, chased by mysterious shadows. In this mystical journey between dreams and fatality, she will have to dance for her salvation.

Stop Us

Director This is Felo
Country
UK, Spain

“Our idea was to discover a new perspective and uncover its mysteries as we see through the looking-glass. By designing a series of geometric shced new abstract realities, producing the sensation of a new perception of space and the human sensuality”.

The End Was Yesterday

Director Cristina Vieira
Country Portugal

Nuno & The End invites us on a reflexive journey on the “after end”. The transformation, metamorphosis and the hope for a rebirth in the transmutation of the oneself, taking place in a wild, inhospitable, suffocating world.

Voices

Director Robin Goethals
Country
Belgium

The story of Voices is based on the sacrifice of a boy who lived hundreds of years ago and was eventually found in a bog, still surprisingly intact.

Wall

Directors Felix Räuber, Nora Otte
Country
Germany

Felix Rauber’s idiosyncratic style portrays freedom and conformity personified as a child and an adult. As the ‘Wall’ seems to become unconquerable, anger festers and swells.

Non-European Documentaries

#TAKEMEANYWHERE

Director and co-directors  Shia Labeouf, Nastja Rönkkö & Luke Turner
Country USA, UK, Finland

In mid-2016, LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner hitchhiked the internet in a project commissioned by Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the Finnish Institute in London.

Grind

Director Yuri Alves
Country
USA

This format-bending profile of Robert Wilmote reveals the story of a Liberian refugee forced to flee the most drastic and terrible circumstances imaginable.

Letter to My Mother

Director Branislav Jankic
Country
USA

Letter to My Mother is a visual and literary body of work created by artist Branislav Jankic that reveals an impactful look into the lives of mothers suffering from addiction in the United States.

Non-European Dramatic Feature Films

KAFOU

Director Bruno Mourral
Country Haiti

Port-au-Prince by night. Doc and Zoe are just hired to deliver an unknown package. Their job comes with three essential rules: never stop the car, never roll down the windows, never open the trunk.

Peaches

Director Hector Valdez
Country
Dominican Republic

When Diego’s girlfriend decides to leave him after a disastrous anniversary getaway, he will find any means possible to amend or fix what happened. Even if it means competing with different versions of himself when traveling through time.

The Trial

Director John Williams
Country
Japan

Yosuke Kimura wakes on his 30th birthday to find two strange men in his room who tell him he is under arrest. At first he thinks this is a joke, but he is summoned to a strange court in the suburbs and finds that he is not the only person on trial.

Call For Dreams

Director Ran Slavin
Country
Israel

In a rain drenched Tokyo, from a high rise apartment, Eko complicates her life by publishing a ‘call for dreams’ ad in the newspaper. As unexpected callers start to leave descriptions of dreams on her analogue answering machine, she sets out on a road to the unknown. 

Non-European Dramatic Shorts

6ate7

Director Maggie Kiley
Country Australia

Tim, putting the final touches on his ‘Vol 7 – Songs for and about Em’ CD mix (his annual anniversary gift to the love of his life), joyfully discovers a letter from Emma’s gynaecologist. It can only mean the good news that she is pregnant – something they have been trying to do for a very long time.

Anna Karenina

Director Yana Sar
Country
USA

Mr. White is a successful businessman in denial of his mental condition. One day he receives a gift that triggers displaced memories from the past.

Bea

Director José Esteban Pavlovich Salido
Country
Mexico

Seven-year-old Béa’s world changes as her young mother tries to reconnect with her estranged aunt in this love-letter to misunderstanding.

Before the Coming

Director Yu Jing
Country
China

Someone with ninja skills make it past the secret doors and traps and steals the seal. Everyone thinks it must be Pai Yu-Ching. Actually he is riding his horse and makes a dramatic rescue of a girl’s silk scarf.

Birth Permit

Director Zhang Yu
Country China

He Zhen, a female public officer, remarried to a stranger for a birth permit of her second child.To get through all the red tape, there are more difficulties. End of the one-child policy is not to solve the trouble, the crisis between the couple might just begin.

Passion Gap

Directors Matt Portman, Jason Donald
Country
South Africa

Elani survived her brutal childhood by carefully watching people. Now she plans to use her relationship with Mikey to get out of Cape Town for good. All she has to do is manage his ego for one more night, but the seeds of violence were planted in her early on.

Real Connection

Director Thierry Denis
Country
USA

Cedric is happy to finally get a match in the new augmented reality dating app Real Connection. Unfortunately his wittiness and writing skills are not enough to get his match interested. That’s not to account for a particular features his buddy Elan calls his attention on: Auto-Chat.

Retouch

Director Kaveh Mazaheri
Country
Iran

In the corner of the home, Maryam’s husband does weightlifting. Suddenly, the weight falls on his throat and puts him between life and death. Maryam tries to save him, but she just decides to stop helping and stand and watch her husband’s death.

The Denodnaba Prologue

Director Brett Leigh
Country
USA

A victorian woman begins her day in distress. The woman begins walking through her house until she unlocks the heavy, safe-like door to the basement and travels in. She is keeping a person inside and begins to lecture her about the nature of her captivity.

Student Films

Broken

Director Alex Mironescu
Country Romania

After disappearing without any explanation for several days, a woman returns to her boyfriend’s house. They are about to decide what will happen with their relationship.

Burn Bridge

Director Rhys Jones
Country
UK

Closeted teenager Harry has fallen for Jamie, his closest friend in their homostigmatic friendship group. When Lucy arrives on the scene, Harry must contend for Jamie’s attention, bringing his true feelings closer to light.

Chimere

Director Nathan Vaillant
Country
France

After committing a professional misconduct, Anna returns home and discovers the infidelity of her husband.

Facing Mecca

Director Jan-Eric Mack
Country
Switzerland

Pensioner Roli comes to Fareed’s assistance when the Syrian refugee is faced with the burial of his Muslim wife. Together they stumble into a bewildering forest of Swiss bureaucracy to which Roli finds a beautifully simple answer…

It’s Just a Gun

Director Brian Robau
Country USA

Imagine in the life time of a gun all the hands it passes through. It’s Just A Gun is just one chapter in that story.

Mariela

Directors Victoria Romero
Country
Argentina

A girl remembers the tragic story of the woman that was her nanny.

Queen of Oasis

Director Lynn Oona Baur
Country
Germany

At a war-damaged block of buildings, Manal encounters Dima. Dima holds out there, transforming the cruel reality with the power of her childlike imagination. Manal is fleeing from the war. When Dima is jeopardized, Manal is forced to face her fears.

Quick’n’Clean

Director Maria-Kristin Neheimer
Country
Germany

Ria is a young girl working at a dry cleaner’s. But when her blood-soaked boyfriend stumbles into the shop, looking for help, her life takes an unexpected turn…

She’eriot

Director Yael Arad Zafrir
Country
Israel

Ruchama, a well-kept 65 years old woman cares for her paralyzed husband David, 70 years old, who has an ALS disease, He understands everything but can’t do anything on his own. He communicates with Ruchama by answering yes and no with his finger.

The Incident

Director Meedo Taha
Country
USA

At a bus stop near Beirut, a veiled Lebanese woman and a migrant Syrian worker get in a tumultuous moment and are arrested. They must argue their innocence in the face of the only witnesses: a bus full of women on their way to Koran school, each with her version of the truth.