Animatiefilm SAD BEAUTY een van de hoogtepunten in de ÉCU selectie

De Nederlandse animatiefilm Sad Beauty van Arjen Brentjes is de enige Nederlandse productie geselecteerd voor het European Independent Film Festival dat in april plaats zal vinden.


ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival is proud to announce ÉCU’s 2021 Official Selection for its 16th edition which will take place from the 9th, 10th and 11th of April 2021 in Paris, France.

After last year’s hugely successful ‘ÉCU 2020 Live’, where the festival was digitally streamed for four days, this year we intend to host ÉCU in our usual Parisian cinema, as well as streaming the Official Selection via a private and secure streaming platform.

ÉCU 2021 will showcase 71 films from 28 countries and they will compete for 25 awards. The films range from features, shorts, documentaries and animations, to student films and experimental works.

The festival’s top award “Europe’s Best Independent Film 2021” will be presented, along with the rest of the awards, at ÉCU’s award ceremony on Sunday, the 11th of April, 2021.

Some highlights from the ÉCU 2021 Official Selection include:

  • THE DAWN (dir N.P. Novack, France) Experimental Category. 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. Starring Iggy Pop, who gives a truly never-say-die performance.
  • DA YIE (dir. Anthony Nti, Belgium, Ghana). European Short Film Category. An Academy Award shortlisted film, portraying a foreigner in Ghana, who gets an assignment from his gang to find kids for a risky job that will take place later that evening. A thrilling tale, that makes you sit on the edge of your seat!
  • SAD BEAUTY (dir. Arjan Brentjes, Netherlands) European Animated Film Category. 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. A timely story of what so many of us fear(ed).
  • FRONTLINE (dir. Zhaoxi, China) Non-European Documentary Category. Based in the front line of the battle of Wuhan “combating the epidemic”, this movie portrays the true stories in the “heroic city” including “from pause to restart”, and “going through life and death”, conveying a tremendously panoramic and insightful view of Covid-19’s ground zero. A front row seat from the place where it all started.

“ÉCU 2021’s Official Selection is a balm to the soul-ravaging effects of the pandemic. It already takes an immense amount of commitment, courage, bravery and cinematic innovation to make an independent film – but to make such high-quality films under these conditions is Herculean. The wide and dazzling array of storylines covered in this slate of films is truly amazing. These gems of cinema are at the very cutting edge of contemporary independent filmmaking – and the filmmakers in competition at ÉCU are among the very best story-tellers of our generation.” says independent filmmaker and ÉCU’s President, Scott Hillier.

As we stay true to ÉCU’s commitment to acknowledging the participation of female directors at the festival, ÉCU will be presenting the “Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking” award for the seventh consecutive year, as well as conducting the #SHESHOOTS discussion panel, where female directors in competition at ÉCU share their filmmaking experiences.

In addition to the screening, ÉCU will be hosting Workshops / Masterclasses as well as online Q&A sessions which allow the audience to interact with the competing filmmakers. Stay tuned for the official programme and ticket information.

For more information and a full list of the 2021 Official Selection, visit our website