ÉCU names best European indie films for 2016

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Croatia/Germany’s ‘The Chicken’ by Una Gunjak is the Best European Independent Film 2016

Croatia/Germany’s ‘The Chicken’ by Una Gunjak is the Best European Independent Film 2016

PARIS, France: Europe’s premier event for independent cinema, ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival, announced its 2016 award-winning films including its highest honor “Best European Independent Film 2016” which went to The Chicken (Croatia/Germany) directed by Una Gunjak.

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After showcasing 77 films from 31 countries, ÉCU 2016 ended its indie-packed weekend with a dazzling final ceremony recognizing 25 award winners in 14 categories.

Winners included: Horseface, directed by Marc Martinez Jordán (Spain) for Best European Independent Dramatic Short; Vanitas, directed by Oscar Spierenburg (Belgium) for Best European Independent Dramatic Feature; and Refugees directed by Eduardo Hernandez Perez and Hans Jaap Melissen (Netherlands) for Best European Independent Experimental Film.

Mélanie Delloye took home Best Director for The Man Of My Life (France).

During the festival weekend, international audiences were exposed to films and their filmmakers from across the spectrum of experience, culture and genre. Director Q&A sessions provided an amazing informal setting for discussion between the audience and the directors on filmmaking, while after-parties throughout Paris extended these conversations into music-fueled early morning hours. ÉCU endeavors to provide a cultural platform not only for entertainment, but also for active networking across the independent film world.

For the last 11 years, ÉCU has been helping to launch and expand the career of many talented independent filmmakers. The festival is extremely proud to assist these passionately driven artists who create incredible cinema without the benefits of large production budgets. ÉCU’s mission to discover and promote extraordinary independent films from around the world propagates its position as a major European cultural event.

“This award means the world to us. It’s the first award for Little Gandhi, but we actually owe this award to all the injured, displaced, and imprisoned Syrians. This is for you. We’re gonna keep fighting for you, for freedom and dignity. Thank you ÉCU. Thank you Paris,” commented Sam Kadi, director of Little Gandhi, winner of The Ahmed Khedr Award for Excellence in Arab Filmmaking 2016.

Scott Hillier, Academy Award-honored filmmaker and ÉCU President, remarked that “it was a great honor to showcase such an incredible array of films this past weekend,” adding that “if these are the storytellers of the future, then they certainly offer insight into what this next generation of filmmakers can do.”

For a full list of ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival’s 2016 award winners, visit www.ecufilmfestival.com.

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