Écu Official Selection 2021

ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival is excited to announce its Official Selection of films that were showcased at the 16th edition of the festival. ÉCU 2021 proudly screened 71 films from 27 countries on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of April 2021 in Paris, France.

European Dramatic Short Film

BEFORE BOYS

Directors Delphine Genest, Vincent Tabaillon, Eric Basset
Country France

Passing themselves off as sensual women, young teenagers converse with a stranger on an online dating site. They have fun flirting with him and arousing him. When the stranger sets up a date with them in a cafe, they are intrigued and decide to go to meet him.

BLUE

Director Moonika Põdersalu
Country 
Estonia

When two strangers’ paths cross after a car accident, the woman hijacks the situation and gets into the man’s car, demanding that he take her away from there. As the man tries to find a solution to the predicament, fragments from the woman’s past start painting a picture of the tragic events that happened to her.

DA YIE

Director Anthony Nti
Country Ghana

A foreigner in Ghana gets an assignment from his gang to find kids for a risky job that will take place later that evening. While spending the day with two energetic children, Prince and Matilda, he starts to question his decision and how it will affect their lives

EULOGY

Director Mateo Willis
Country 
UK

Moments before his funeral, a father’s dark past threatens the fragile peace between two brothers

FERROTIPOS

Director Fernando Manso
Country Spain

A model is taking a photo shoot with a recognized photographer. He proposes to take the photos with the naked torso to convey that insecurity caused by nakedness. He wants to talk about how vulnerable women feel in this society.

FUCK YOURSELF AND DANCE

Director Diego Saniz
Country 
Spain

David is a guy with work, friends, and some success with women. Life doesn’t treat him badly, but he feels completely empty. Then Elena arrives in his life, idealizing her instantly. David thinks he found what he craves so much. He thinks he falls in love,he wants it with all his might. And this time it seems that things will work out well. It seems.

HEALING

Director Adrian Perez
Country Switzerland

Legend has it that a magic spot in the mountains has healing powers. That’s where Ben treats fatally ill people and that’s where Sarah seeks revenge for her dead sister. A modern alpin saga of good faith.

HUMAN TRASH

Director Aitor Almuedo Esteban
Country 
Spain

A boy is thrown into a trash container from the future. In his frantic search for the exit, he runs into a mysterious man, who will make him doubt the origin of his own existence.

IF WE SMARTEN UP

Director Larisa Faber
Country Luxembourg, Romania

After the sale of the family flat, live-in maid Maria finds herself homeless and stranded. Making the most of a desperate situation, she decides to declare the broom cupboard, located on the same floor as her former flat, her new home. Her neighbours however are everything but pleased by this solution. They start to see the elderly maid as an intrusion into their lives, devaluing their properties, stealing their doormats, and can’t help but wonder how they could get rid of her. Inspired by real events.

LETTERS TO GOD

Director Yves Cohen
Country 
France

Since his daughter’s death, Moshe lives alone rejecting his wife whom he blames for this tragedy. In order to get out of his confinement, he accepts a job at a special post office branch, in charge of letters sent to God from all over the world. Confronted to some strange events, Moshe will understand that only forgiveness can bring him to life again

SCRATCH

Director Paris Erotokritou
Country Cyprus

The film is about the financial and the ensuing psychological crush of a new generation by the ‘old guard’, who still rests in the laurels of a distant, glorious past, oblivious of present realities. It’s an allegorical film that takes place in an urban setting deserted by most of its inhabitants. Even at the eve of collapse, the system and its ‘old guard’ insist on projecting ‘ a façade of normality’, refusing to acknowledge the destruction that has already set in.

THE EPHEMERAL

Director Jorge Muriel
Country 
Spain

Two strangers meet in a subway car. Both bring their past with them. Both look from their present. Both will determine their future in that fleeting, and ephemeral, vital journey that brings them together briefly.

THE DELIVERY

Director Anthony Nti
Country Ghana

A foreigner in Ghana gets an assignment from his gang to find kids for a risky job that will take place later that evening. While spending the day with two energetic children, Prince and Matilda, he starts to question his decision and how it will affect their lives

STICKER

Director Director Georig M. Unkovski
Country Macedonia

After an unsuccessful attempt to renew his car registration, Dejan falls in a bureaucratic trap that tests his determination to be a responsible father

SECURITY HEALTH WORK

Directors Marc-Antoine Modol
Country France

A young woman is confined alone in the countryside without her husband, who tries to join her

THE HANDSOME IN THE MIRROR

Director Egil Pedersen
Country 
Norway

A man living by himself, who is obsessed about order in his home, is confronted by himself. The film is a surreal horror comedy.

Student Film

SUMMER SHADE

Director Shira Haimovici
Country Uk

“Summer Shade” offers a slice of-life insight into an Israeli summer day. Gal, a 13-year-old redhead girl runs away from her older sisters, towards her favorite relaxing summer spot: the magical refreshing pond nearby her summer house. Only that shortly after her arrival, a group of ultraorthodox Hassidic Jews arrive into the place and violently kick her out of there.

SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR

Director Adva Reichman
Country 
USA

Nabila, an 8 months pregnant Palestinian woman, whose husband died in the Israeli prison, wants to revenge his death. With the help of Hamas, she plans a terror attack in Israel. The premature birth of her baby makes her reconsider, but will Hamas let her off the hook?

90%

Director Jerry Hoffmann
Country Germany

Anorexia is taking up more and more space in Jean’s life or as he would call it: the incredible feeling of absolute self-control. But then Lili enters his life.

AUTUMN

Director Greta Benkelmann
Country 
Germany

Theo has dementia. While he is busy dying self-determined, life puts a spoke in his wheel. A film about friendship, pizza and other things worth living

OUT OF JOINT

Director Wiebke Becker
Country Germany

A diagnosis feared by everyone: When 18-years-old Thomas can no longer keep his paedophilia secret, his family is about to be thrown out of joint.

SINKING SHIPS

Director  Andreas Kessler
Country 
Germany

Sara endured many years in a relationship full of control and violence. As she and her family go on vacation, an opportunity to break away suddenly presents itself.

CLOSE

Directors Emily Bowell , Thomas Attwood
Country UK

A single mother has to regain her strength and courage to rescue her missing daughter after discovering she might be closer than expected

YOUNG, FRAGILE

Director Joscha Bongard
Country Germany

At times of changing gender roles, a tinder date encourages young Leonid to live his own definition of “masculinity”. A current reflection on love, sexuality and role models

MONSTERS NEVER KNOW

Director Ming Yang
Country 
China

The Mongols believe in Tengri. They think everyone has a spirit. Tengri is a god, his spirit is hidden in nature to protect the tribe. Mongols call people who do not respect the life and nature of “monsters”. Mongols also believe that monsters are inherently good by nature.

DIABLA

Director Ashley George
Country USA

After surviving assault, an enigmatic 17-year-old Mexican girl finds retribution through her untapped female power and local witch culture.

European Comedy Film

AMONG HUMANS

Director Caren Wuhrer
Country Germany

Edda and Egon pictured their new son-in-law very differently. Especially less striped and furry. While meeting each other for the first time at a restaurant, daughter Oona and her future husband are not only confronted with prejudices.

STRIPED

Director Tatiana Astapova
Country 
Russian Federation

On one hot summer day Nikolay went to a shop to buy a watermelon. Knocking one after another it seemed to him that one had knocked back. He brought it home and waved with a knife when heard the sound again. The watermelon talked to him using Morse code.He introduced himself as 7293 and thus their friendship began.

16/8

Director Sasha Paracels
Country Russian Federation

Chained to a pipe in a dark room, a young woman must fight her way out and discover the dark secret to her imprisonment.

A GIRL AND A GUN

Director Pierre-Edouard Joubert
Country 
France

“All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun” Godard said.3 Guys are going to take this quote way too seriously, and try in an absurd way to make a movie with just a girl and a gun.

Arab Special Selection

LET MY BODY SPEAK

Director Madonna Adib
Country UK

This documentary is a personal and intimate journey exploring the repression experienced by the filmmaker during her childhood when she faced sexual control in Damascus also experiencing a growing socio-political repression in the late 80s early 90s. Through the creative use of family archives in Damascus mixed with current footage of her body she reconstructs the pain of the past absorbed by her body.

TICK TOCK

Director Awad Karrar
Country 
Sudan, Qatar

After becoming the president of the student body, Ahmed discovers that the system is corrupted. Ahmed is now left with a single defining choice, does he continue to follow a corrupted system or stand with the people and sacrifice everything that he has worked for?

AL-SIT

Director Suzannah Mirghani
Country Qatar

In a cotton-farming village in Sudan, 15-year-old Nafisa has a crush on Babiker, but her parents have arranged her marriage to Nadir, a young Sudanese businessman living abroad. Nafisa’s grandmother Al-Sit, the powerful village matriarch, has her own plans for Nafisa’s future. But can Nafisa choose for herself?

A SYRIAN WOMAN

Directors Khawla Al Hammouri, Louis Karim Sayad DeCaprio
Country 
Jordan

After nearly a decade of conflict, Syrian refugee women are some of the most vulnerable. Thousands have lost their families and husbands, and now must provide for their children, alone in an unfamiliar country. In this short film, six Syrian women living in Jordan recount their personal stories of survival.

Non-European Dramatic Feature Film

A STORY SEWN AND BOUND WITH A RED THREAD

Director Yuria Matsushita
Country Japan

In a twisted reinterpretation of the tale of Cinderella, four young daughters suspect that their stepmother is having an affair behind the back of their critically ill father. To reconnect them, the grief-stricken girls devise a sick and dangerous plan, one that they might not survive.

FINDING OPHELIA

Director Stephen Rutterford
Country 
USA

Finding the girl of your dreams can be a nightmare.

ISOLATED PEOPLE

Director Jun Wang
Country China

During the COVID-19 epidemic in China, Wang Yang ’s mother was infected and died in Wuhan. Wang Yang lost her only relative. She wanted to seek death. When attempted suicide, she was rescued by construction worker Jia Xiusheng and inadvertently broke into life

European Dramatic Feature Film

VAGABONDS

Director Philippe Dajoux
Country France

Follow the stories of our vagabonds, with seemingly no future, and who will discover the meaning of hope. Inspired by true stories, this film aims at bringing to light those who are too often left in the shadow.

JIYAN

Director Süheyla Schwenk
Country Germany

Hayat has come to Berlin with her husband Harun to provide a better life for their unborn child. All they have is a small suitcase and Hayat’s nightmares of her life in Syria.

SUBMISSION

Director Leonardo Antonio
Country 
Portugal

Lucia is raped by her husband and presses charges against him. While fighting the portuguese legal system to get her husband in court, she finds out she is pregnant. The case takes place in closed session wherein Lucia represents the woman in a man’s world – the subject is rape and prostitution in marriage

European Music Video

CASS & LEX

Director Phillip Kaminiak
Country Germany

In his directorial debut, Berlin and Mexico City-based cinematographer Phillip Kaminiak embarks on a personal project where he attempts to deal with his previous relationships by training a lens on real-life couple Cassandre Clerc and Johannes Lex. By documenting their lives and translating their relationship into Dance, CASS & LEX tells a poem about the beauty and the horror of love.

DANCING WITH MY DEMONS

Director Charlotte Aftassi
Country
France

Between Light and Shadow, “Dancing with my Demons” reminds us that we all have our own demons. It is still necessary to be able to see them and to conjugate with … In this eternal war of shadow and light, will this bewitching young lady from “Eyes Wide Shut” could find light? Because let’s not forget, the light always wins …

HIDEAWAY

Director Etienne Fu-Le Saulnier
Country France

A man dancing amid the raging elements

LA DOMENICA DELLE SALME

Director Lucian Alexandrov
Country
Romania

The video is a dystopian story about an alien doctor who gets some dead humans to analyze and finds out something disturbing about them

WE’RE BOTH IN TROUBLE NOW

Director Jonny Sanders
Country Uk

Shot in isolation with actors who have never been in the same room together, this music video starts as an exploration of loneliness and the feeling of being trapped inside, but then it twists and turns until it culminates in a jubilant celebration.

YOVOH-IRIS

Director Raphaël Bluzet
Country
France

IRIS is an animated film, painting the story of a life through the vision of the hand.

LET GO

Director Savvas Stavrou
Country Uk

From robot to YOLO, a man discovers what it means to break free and let go.

MODERN DAY CATHEDRAL

Director Philos Maurice Klein
Country
Germany

Modern Day Cathedral is a blues ceremony against greed and consumerism.
A surreal journey that encapsulates the theme of modern consumerism, our self destruction as a species and our hope that prevails through it all.

PARACHUTE

Director Taisia Deeva
Country Ukraine, Germany

A boy is being bullied in his neighbourhood. He feels desperate and hopeless but suddenly, he is able to escape by levitating above the ground.The film bounces on the edge of surrealistic optimism, explores the moods of hope and despair and above all – our continued desire for human connection.

THE LINE

Director Hannah Marshal
Country
Uk

There are lines in one’s life where it crosses, opens to the realisation that they have power to reject the habit, to resist against them, to push for change and to reclaim one’s own destiny. “The Line” is a metaphor and the story is universa

Non-European Dramatic Short Film

MALAKOUT

Director Farnoosh Abedi
Country Iran

Music was his passion… Love was his masterpiece… A piano player tries to bring his wife back to life, but the deal awakens the devil inside him

THE READING

Director Nora Jaenicke
Country
USA

When on publicity tour for her best-selling memoir, a writer is forced to confront secrets from her past when an estranged childhood friend shows up unannounced

WICHITA

Director Sergine Dumais
Country USA

Sara is in bed with her lover when her husband calls. When he asks for something in his sock drawer, she runs home, stalling for time, asking endless questions about Wichita, Kansas

European Documentary Film

CELL 364

Director  Mathilde Babo, Zoè Rossion
Country Iran

A former Stasi prisoner revisits his cell.

QUATRE MAINS

Director Lander Haverals
Country
France

Child of victims and child of perpetrators, yet they became friends for life. Simon Gronowski and Koenraad lost almost everything in World War II, but they found each other.

THE BEYOND

Director  Daniel Maurer
Country Switzerland

The second wave of Covid significantly increased mortality in hospitals. What does this mean for the work of Mathieu, employed in the morgue of a regional hospital center? How does he relate to these people whose souls have recently left their bodies?

Non-European Documentary Film

FRONTLINE

Director  Zhaoxi
Country China

Based in the front line of the battle of Wuhan “combating the epidemic”, this movie records the true stories in the “heroic city” including “from pause to restart”, and “going through life and death”, etc. in a panoramic view.

SUN OF THE SOIL

Director Joey Penney
Country
USA

In 14th Century Mali, an ambitious young royal named Mansa Musa ascended the throne. His story remains a myth.Sun of the Soil is the story of Malian artist Abdou Ouologuem’s journey to discover the truth behind this legendary African king

MORGANA

Directors  Isabel Peppard, Josie Hess
Country Australia

A lonely house-wife’s plan to end it all takes an unexpected turn when her last hurrah begins a radical journey of sexual exploration and personal re-invention.

I

European Animated Film

DEAR FOREST

Director Claire Eyheramendy, Simon Duclos, Pauline Gregoire
Country France

In a possible future, Josée, a solid forest officer, is done tearing down the last trees of a small forest in the middle of the desert. Having not attained the quota set by her employer, she goes towards another forest that happens to be made from hybrids of trees and deers, constantly on the look for pools of light. Josée gets attached to the youngest member of the group while the machines sent by her company arrive in order to tear down the flock. Josée, powerless, witnesses the massacre. Alone, the small fawn survived and Josée takes it upon herself to guide him towards the light, helping his leaves grow again

EVENGELINE

Director Nadine Schwenk
Country
Germany

Deep down in the swamps of Louisiana, Evangeline finds an alligator egg and decides to take it home. When the alligator hatched, she finally found the friend to play with. However, the alligator soon becomes a problem for Evangeline due to its size. It gets increasingly hard to hide it from her father Levon.

LES CHAUSSURES DE LOUIS

Director  Théo JAMIN, Kayu LEUNG, Marion PHILIPPE, Jean-Géraud BLANC
Country France

Louis , a night and a half years old autistic kid arrives in his new school and he is about to indrouche himelf.

ONLY A CHILD

Director Simone Giampaolo
Country
Switzerland

Only a Child is a visual poem created by over 20 animation directors under the artistic supervision of Simone Giampaolo, which gives shape and colour to the original words spoken by Severn Suzuki at the UN Summit in Rio in 1992, a child’s desperate call to action for the future of our planet. An omnibus film celebrating the environmental youth movement 30 years in the making

SAD BEAUTY

Director Arjan Brentjes
Country Netherlands

In a heavily polluted world, a young woman mourns the disappearance of animal species. When she falls ill due to a bacterial infection, nature appears to send her a message in her hallucinations.

European Experimental Film

CASIOPEA

Director Fernando Manso
Country Spain

Casiopea is the journey to life itself. A captivating adventure that unravels the eternal question of humankind:What happens before/after life?

SPLIT APART

Directors Zina Papadopoulou, Petros Papadopoulos
Country
Greece

In a single-tone, vertical city, a lonely man. He stands out as he stands out from his selves. Divided, split. Trying to fit in, to synchronize

THE DAWN

Director  N.P. Novack
Country France

A famous painter of dawn lives alone, no sign of wife and children. He seems to have always lived in his art studio, painting as the day begins. But one morning, as he is finishing his last canvas, the sun does not rise.

WALLS OF LIMERICK

Director Arturo Bandinelli
Country
Ireland

This film is a statement on the psychological effects that harsh political borders have on people. It offers the viewer a window into the dancers’ internal worlds, where they go to escape from their bleak, oppressive reality.  Both together and alone, they are able to express themselves and a bond is formed.