ÉCU on Sunday: Final Day of the Festival

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On the final day of the ÉCU Independent European Film Festival, a wide array of activities took place, from awarding the festival winners to providing workshops for guests.

Tonight, the 19th edition of the ÉCU Film Festival took place, hosted at the Cinema Les 7 Parnassiens, in Montparnasse. An exciting day full of activities, workshops, conversations, and more importantly, a love for cinema. 

We had the pleasure of being presented with very inspiring films this year and I personally received the opportunity to interview some of the present filmmakers. 

For instance, Emily Niebuhr gave us some insight about her short movie “Won’t Figure It Out Tonight,” shot in Alaska. In her interview with me, she talked about the dangers behind the shooting of her project, including having to run from a bear. She states: “I had to run from moose, I had to run from bears”; adding: “The good thing about Alaska wilderness is that it allows you to go into places you are not the top of the food chain.”

In a talk with Vicent Zhou, on the topic of his film “I  C U”, a dramatic short movie that tells the story of a Shangai hospital where continuous occult accidents occur, only for the truth to be revealed afterwards during sunrise, he expresses his thoughts: “ I use a story to tell the audience: life comes and goes. It’s just like the sunset. If the sun never sets, the sun won’t rise.”   

We also had the pleasure to talk to Samuel Perry-Falvey, co-director of “Ren – Money Game Part 3”. When asked about his relationship with the musical artist Ren, whom he directed the music video with, he said: “ It’s always great to work with him, he is a genius. He is so inspiring to work with, and every ounce of success he gets, he deserves it more than anyone I’ve ever met.”

A very enriching part of the festival was the workshop available for the event attendees. On Sunday, ÉCU had the pleasure to present the Sync Licensing for Filmmakers workshop, whose goal is to give a solid foundation and introductory overview to the process of finding and licensing music for your next film, as well as providing extensive resources and reference materials. This was held, respectively, by Steph Rushton, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Music Supervisor / Director of Europe & A&R for Seven Seas Music & The Rights Workshop, as well as “Chicago” Mike Beck, Founder and Executive Director for Access Film Music LLC.

The workshop started with a brief presentation of our lecturers, Steph and Mike, who went on to explain to the audience the reasons behind the choice to have (or not to) music on the soundtrack of a film, as well as the importance of Copyright Clearance and the components that make up music publishing. The workshop also taught the audience how to research and understand musical copyrights, in addition to how to organize and document the clearing of said rights.

This workshop would be best described by the words clarifying and didactic, both for filmmakers and musicians alike, as well as for anyone who is interested in cinema, and it ended with the answering of the public personal questions, followed by a round of applause.

Soon after, the #Sheshoots panel took place, where we had the opportunity to listen and learn about being a woman behind the camera, a conversation that was held by our guest-speakers, 8 women in the cinema industry, each one with a very different path, who told us about their story and their work. Lots of issues were discussed, from being a woman in a film set, to the prominent sexism and ageism still present in the industry, as well as the need for representation both on and off screen.

Arwa Damon, former CNN senior international correspondent and creator of the charity organization INARA (https://inara.org/)  gave us a very interesting speech regarding her humanitarian work, as well as the process behind her and Binnur Karaevli movie, “Seize the Summit,” selected for the non-European documentary category of this year ÉCU edition.

The eagerly anticipated awards ceremony marked the culmination of the three-day ÉCU festival, providing a fitting conclusion to the event. While all contestants submitted remarkable works, certain individuals truly stood out this year and were duly recognized for their achievements, which we will go further in depth in the next article on ÉCU blog. 

The festival wrapped up with a delightful gathering, welcoming everyone from directors and actors to attendees and staff. Conversations flowed effortlessly, accompanied by drinks and a spread of food.

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