Saturday, April 14, 2018

COLCOA French Film & TV Festival Returns April 23-30 in West Hollywood

Announcements by Karen Ostlund

 COLCOA French Film Festival will return its 22nd anniversary in the theaters of the Directors Guild of America, from April 23 to April 30, 2018 in West Hollywood, CA.
More than 120 screenings and panels are scheduled, including feature films, documentary, shorts, TV and digital series will compete for the COLCOA Awards.
 “Through its different competitions, we are proud to dedicate this year’s programming of COLCOA to women, both in their role in the making of the films and series, and their central roles in the majority of the stories selected this year,” said François Truffart, COLCOA Executive Producer and Artistic Director.
“Concretely, we will also introduce a new series called Women Make History.  We will dedicate a day to first films made by female writers and directors; our Focus on a Filmmaker day will be offered to writer, director, actor Mélanie Laurent; and one of our panels will address the role of women in the French film industry.”

An exclusive lineup of 37 new features and documentaries will compete for the COLCOA CINEMA AWARDS, beginning on Opening Night (Monday, April 23) with the North American Premiere of writer/director Eric Barbier’s PROMISE AT DAWN. This adaptation of French author Romain Gary’s autobiography and celebration of his mother gathers, in the title roles, Pierre Niney and Charlotte Gainsbourg

The cinema competition will close on Monday, April 30, with the North American Premiere of Cedric Kahn’s new drama, THE PRAYER.  The film recently had its triumphant world premiere at the Berlin Film festival where newcomer Anthony Bajon won the Best Actor Award.

Stroll down for COLCOA Television Competition Lineup 2018.

The Franco-American Cultural Fund have announced that Mélanie Laurent will be honored as their “Focus on a Filmmaker” at the COLCOA French Film Festival.  Additionally, they have announced the five films that comprise the “COLCOA Classic Series.”  These selections will be presented as part of COLCOA’s 22nd edition, which will run Monday, April 23 through Monday, April 30, with all screenings taking place at the Directors Guild of America.   All films in the COLCOA Classics are FREE to the public. 

FOCUS ON A FILMMAKER: MÉLANIE LAURENT presented in association with Gravitas Films, Rialto Pictures, Unifrance and Variety:
COLCOA will honor writer, director and actress Mélanie Laurent on Thursday, April 26, with a special presentation of her first film THE ADOPTED/LES ADOPTÉS as part of the COLCOA Classics series. The film premiered at COLCOA in 2012 and won the COLCOA First Feature Award.  Following the first screening, Laurent will participate in a Happy Hour Talk dedicated to her career.  The evening will conclude with the U.S. Premiere of Laurent’s latest film DIVING/PLONGER that will be released in the U.S later this year by Gravitas Film.

THE ADOPTED/LES ADOPTÉS (2011) is the story of a family. A family of women often tossed about by life, but who have managed with time to ride out the storms. Men have little place in the women's lives and it's therefore quite natural that when one of the women falls in love, things come asunder. The family equilibrium has to be redefined and everyone strives to do so as best they can. But fate allows them to barely catch their breath before imposing another reality. The family must then learn everything anew. The mechanics of adoption must once again be put into action, obliging each person to change places.  Written by Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Perez, Christophe Deslandes; directed by Mélanie Laurent; with Marie Denarnaud, Denis Ménochet, Mélanie Laurent, Clémentine Célarié.  The film is distributed in the U.S. by Rialto Pictures.

 DIVING/PLONGER (2017): César and Paz are madly in love. Paz, a Spanish photographer, is always looking for new experiences. But César, previously a war journalist, is looking for peace and quiet. Paz gets pregnant and the perspective of motherhood smothers her. Each day she becomes more distant, lost in a quest she can’t quite grasp herself. Until she suddenly leaves behind César and their baby with no explanation. Written by Christophe Deslandes, Julien Lambroschini, Mélanie Laurent, Christophe Ono-dit-Biot; directed by Mélanie Laurent; with Gilles Lellouche, María Valverde, Ibrahim Ahmed. The film will be distributed in the U.S. later this year by Gravitas Films.

THE DINNER GAME/LE DINER DE CONS (1998 – Comedy – Written and directed by Francis Veber.)  20th Anniversary presentation in association with Gaumont:
A few well-heeled folk each bring a dimwit along who is to talk about his pastime at a weekly dinner. Each member seeks to introduce a champion dumbbell. Pierre, an avid participant of the game, runs into one problem after another that devilishly compromises his secrets, turning the tables on him and his objective, which diverges as the movie progresses. Firstly, wishing to be certain he has selected a winner, he invited his guest, Mr. Pignon, to meet him at home before setting off; but night of all nights, Pierre has put his back out and it is questionable whether he can manage to get to the dinner. The blundering Mr. Pignon will continually spring forward to help relieve Pierre of his troubles, which have drastically compounded, pointing in the direction of friends, taxes and women, and Pierre's dimwit Pignon accordingly will prove his substance to the end.  Written and directed by Francis Veber, with Jacques Villeret, Thierry Lhermitte, Francis Huster.

 THE FLESH OF THE ORCHID/LA CHAIR DE L'ORCHIDEE (1975 – drama co-written and directed by Patrice Chéreau) - International Premiere of restored version presented in association with Pyramide Productions and Tamasa Distribution:
A disturbed young woman is kept prisoner in a castle by her aunt for her money. The game-keeper, her guardian, tries to rape her but she escapes. In her flight she meets a man also running away, from two killers. Written by James Hadley Chase, Jean-Claude Carrière, Patrice Chéreau; directed by Patrice Chéreau; with Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer, Edwige Feuillère.

GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEF/PREPAREZ VOS MOUCHOIRS (1978 – Comedy written and directed by Bertrand Blier) - International Premiere of restored version presented in association with Cohen Media Group (40th Anniversary):
Solange is depressed and sick. Friends and neighbors are convinced she needs a child. Her husband enlists the help of another man as her lover, Stéphane, in hopes of getting her pregnant. He fails to cheer her up or impregnate her. The three open a summer camp for children where Solange meets 13-year-old Christian. Christian cheers her up, becomes her lover, and fathers a child by her. Written and directed by Bertrand Blier, with Gérard Depardieu, Carole Laure, Patrick Dewaere, Michel Serrault.  The film will be distributed in the United States later this year by Cohen Media Group.

PEPPERMINT SODA/DIABOLO MENTHE (1977 – Comedy, drama co-written and directed by Diane Kurys) - International Premiere of restored version presented in association with Cohen Media Group (40th Anniversary of the U.S. release):
In the fall of 1963, Anne is becoming a teenager. She lives in Paris with her mother and her older sister, Frédérique. They're just back from summer at the beach with their father. School starts. For Frédérique it's the year of her first serious love, her first foray into politics (the Algerian question and "ban the bomb"), her first kiss from an older man, her first friend who runs away, and her first loss of friendship over values. For Anne, who watches her sister closely, it's a year of her first period and of learning to talk to boys, dealing with unfair teachers, and sorting things out with mom after getting in trouble. Written by Diane Kurys and Alain Le Henry; directed by diane Kurys, with Eléonore Klarwein, Odile Michel, Anouck Ferjac.  The film will be distributed in the United States later this year by Cohen Media Group.

 The COLCOA Classics series is free with no reservation needed on a first come first served basis.

COLCOA Television Competition Lineup 2018:

This year the Television section includes 12 selections competing for the COLCOA 2018 Television Awards given by both audience and a professional jury.  This year’s Television section is comprised of television series and TV movies, including the International Premiere of PROUD, a three-part miniseries that spans three generations with each generation dealing with a crucial gay rights moment in France. The section is presented in association with TV France International and TITRAFILM with the support of AMC Networks, Arte Distribution, Endemol Shine International, Film & Picture, France TV Distribution, Gaumont, Lagardère Studios, Leonis, Scarlett Productions, StudioCanal, Tetra Media, TF1 Studio and Walter Presents.

BEYOND SUSPICION / Insoupçonnable (TV Series – Season 1) – North American Premiere:
This highly anticipated series is an unexpectedly chilling thriller that follows gifted Parisian criminologist Chloé Fisher, who is sent to Lyon to investigate the murder of a powerful politician’s daughter-in-law. The perp in question is Paul Brodsky, a loving family man, perfect in every way and beyond reproach — shrink by day, abominable serial killer by night. And he’s just spotted his next victim.  An adaptation of the Belfast-based BBC series THE FALL. Written by Virginie Brac; directed by Fred Garson, Christophe Lamotte; with Emmanuelle Seignier, Melvil Poupaud, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Claire Keim and Patrick Chesnais.

THE AGE OF STATELESS / Le Temps des Egarés (TV Movie) - North American Premiere:
Sira is a former refugee.  She speaks six languages and works as a translator for OFPRA, the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons, which is responsible for applying the dictates of the Geneva Convention.  Unscrupulous and extremely lucid, Sira doesn’t hesitate to extort huge sums of money from displaced foreigners seeking asylum in France.  While the story is fictional, the dramatic fate and cruelty imposed upon refugees rejected by OFPRA are approached with great accuracy.  Written by Virginie Sauveur, Gaëlle Belland; directed by Virginie Sauveur; with Claudia Tagbo, Biyouna B, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Hadja Traore, Alice Belaïdi.

THE ART OF CRIME / L’Art Du Crime (TV series) - North American Premiere:
Booted off the Paris police force for insubordination, Antoine Verlay is transferred to a government task force fighting the illegal trafficking of cultural artifacts. A hothead and keen investigator, he teams up with Florence Chassagne, a renowned art historian at the Louvre. As Antoine and Florence solve a series of modern-day crimes that take place in France’s storied museums and landmarks, they unveil some of the great mysteries of the country’s cultural and historical heritage. Created by Angele Herry-Leclerc, Pierre-Yves Mora; directed by Charlotte Brandstrom and Nicolas Guicheteau; with Benjamin Egner, Eleonore Gosset-Bernheim, Nicolas Gob, Philippe Duclos.

BARON NOIR (TV Series – Season 2) - North American Premiere:
This second season of this critically-acclaimed political thriller returns with the election of France's first female president and an unprecedented institutional crisis. Will Philippe Rickwaert's tactical genius be enough to reconcile the irreconcilable or will he have to accept his own destiny and reveal the true nature of the Baron Noir?  Created by Eric Benzekri and Jean-Baptiste Delafon; directed by Ziad Doueri; with César Award-winner and International Emmy nominee Kad Marad, Anna Mouglalis, Astrid Whettnall. (Season 1 screened at COLCOA 2017 and is available in the U.S. on Walter Presents platform.)

BEAUTIFUL LOSER / Irresponsable (TV Series – Season 2) - North American Premiere:
Exasperating, charming, disarming... Julien is back! And so is BEAUTIFUL LOSER, which last year’s Season 1 won the COLCOA 2017 Best Series Award. Incurable slacker, perpetual teenager, improbable father, Julien is ever improvising his life with as much poetry as he can conjure up. Season 2 opens with Julien spending his days hanging out at his son Jacques’ middle school, where his ex-girlfriend, Marie, works. Julien is thrown a curve ball when an unexpected turn of events suddenly threatens his carefree, cozy existence of squatting at mom’s place. Julien is forced to look for an alternative living situation and is finally determined to become self-sufficient. But learning to live as a responsible adult at 32 is apparently not as easy as it seems. Created by Frédéric Rosset; with Sébastien Chassagne, Théo Fernandez, Nathalie Cerda and Sam Karmann.

THE CONSOLATION (TV Movie) - North American Premiere:  
Based on French TV host Flavie Flament’s autobiographical novel of the same name, the film recounts the story of Flavie, a successful TV host suddenly stricken with dizzy spells. In an attempt to avoid fainting on-air, she decides to see a psychiatrist, who suggests she bring a photo album of childhood pictures to their session. When a particular Polaroid of Flavie at 13, taken by celebrated British photographer David Hamilton, tumbles out of the album, horrific obliterated memories suddenly flood her consciousness. “He raped me,” the stunned woman mutters. As a footnote, despite his denials, one week after Flament publicly identified Hamilton as the character in her novel, the photographer — famous for his soft-focus photos of nude young girls — famously committed suicide. Written and directed by Magaly Richard-Serrano, based on the novel by Flavie Flament; with Lou Gable, Émilie Dequenne and Philip Schurer.

I LOVE YOU 2 / J’ai Deux Amours (TV series) – North American Premiere:                          Hector’s life is nice and neat. He’s gay, a doctor, and has been living with Jérémie for five years now. They’re even planning to adopt a child. Then he runs into his first love, Louise and he is head-over-heels all over again. Suddenly his cup runneth over. He truly loves them both and refuses to give up either one. So what’s a boy to do? Your classic triangular romantic farce, with more than a dash of Marivaux thrown in, this original miniseries offers a refreshingly relaxed, delicate and, at times, very funny take on homosexuality, bisexuality, shared parenting, love and family. Created by Olivier Joyard, Jérôme Larcher; directed by Clément Michel; with Francois Vincentelli, Julia Faure and Olivier Barthelemy.

ISKLANDER / Maroni Les Fantômes du Fleuve (TV Series) - North American Premiere:
Thriller Rookie cop Chloé is transferred to Cayenne in French Guiana where she’s partnered with Dialo, a local cop with a prickly personality. Despite their mutual dislike, they’ll have to work together to solve the brutal, ritual murder of a French couple from the mainland. When the murdered couple’s son is discovered missing, and all clues point to a group of descendants of African slaves who worship a forest spirit called Iskander, Chloé and Dialo will have to double their efforts—and the time they spend together. Iskander takes us on a relentless journey from tin-shack favelas and mysterious hallucinogenic drugs to voodoo rituals and a troubled past that will not stay buried. Created by Olivier Abbou, Aurélien Molas; directed by Olivier Abbou; with Stéphane Caillard, Adama Niane, Jérémie Laheurte, Issaka Sawadogo. Presented at COLCOA before its U.S. release by AMC Networks.

INFIDELITY / Un Adultère (TV Movie) – International Premiere:
The tale of duplicitous husband and father Julien, a real estate agent who falls in love with Alice, a young client who, it turns out, works in Julien’s wife Marie’s tea shop. Written by Eric Assous, Stéphanie Vasseur; directed by Philippe Harel; Isabelle Carré, Xavier Lemaître, Roxanne Arnal, David Stone.

PROUD / Fiertés (TV Series) - International Premiere:
This three-part miniseries is a family saga spanning three generations — Charles, Victor and Diego. Each episode coincides with a crucial gay rights moment in France. Episode one begins in 1981, with the election of François Mitterrand, at a time when the WHO still considered homosexuality a mental illness. That’s when Victor comes out. Episode two takes place in 1999, with the creation of the PACS domestic partnership agreement. Now, Victor is living with Serge and hoping to adopt a baby. Episode three unfolds in 2013, with the ratification of gay marriage, when Diego must come to terms with the fact that he has two fathers. While a chronicle of our changing times, the series is, first and foremost, a love story, captured with quiet restraint and the quivering exhilaration of first love. Created by José Caltagirone, Philippe Faucon, Niels Rahou; directed by Philippe Faucon; with Emmanuelle Bercot, Chiara Mastroianni, Jérémie Elkaïmm, Frédéric Pierrot, Samuel Theis, Stanislas Nordey, Nicolas Cazalé and Benjamine Voisin.

SPECIAL HONORS / Mention Particulière (TV Movie) - North American Premiere:
Laura, 20, is determined to earn her high school diploma just like anyone else except Laura has Down syndrome. As she faces her own difficulties, she must also deal with the doubts of her loved ones and the occasional cruelty of her peers. Overcoming challenge after challenge between emotion and laughter, Laura battles for every inch of an opportunity that life tries to keep from her.   A movie in which disability brings a fresh perspective on life’s challenges and the pursuit of happiness.  Based on a true story.  Written by Nathalie Hugon, Vincent Robert; directed by Christophe Campos; with Bruno Salomone, Hélène De Fougerolles, Jonathan, Lambert, Marie Dal Zotto, Maïra Schmitt, Gaspard Meier-Chaurand.

THROUGH THE MILL / La Mélancolie Ouvrière (TV Movie) - International Premiere:
Born into a family of peasants in 1870, Lucie entered the silk mill, as an apprentice, at 12. She married at 20 and was widowed soon thereafter. Working 12 hours a day and struggling to support two children on her meager salary, Lucie is devastated when bosses decide to increase working hours and slash wages. Fired up and supported by unionist Auda who educates her politically and woos her romantically, she launches her first major strike in 1905. An exceptional, intelligent, courageous woman, Lucie throws herself, body and soul, into the struggle against the slavery of women. Written and directed by Gérard Mordillat (based on the novel by Michelle Perrot); Virginie Ledoyen, Philippe Torreton, François Cluzet, François Morel.

 French composer Laurent Perez Del Mar will be honored with the “Focus on a Composer” and he will meet the COLCOA audience on Saturday April 28, for a one-hour discussion about his career. Del Mar is critically acclaimed for his work on the score for the Academy Award nominated feature film THE RED TURTLE / La Tortue Rouge, which was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature Film.  The Sony Pictures Classics film was produced by the world-renowned Studio Ghibli.
Focus on a Composer and part of the COLCOA Television Competition are free to the public, as  Classic series and COLCOA Short Competition. More info at
COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL is presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a unique collaboration between the Directors Guild of America, the Motion Picture Association, the Writers Guild of America West, and France’s Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM). COLCOA is also supported by France’s Society of Authors, Directors and Producers (L’ARP), the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD) and the Film and TV Office of the French Embassy in Los Angeles, the CNC, TV France International, and Unifrance.

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