Thursday, May 1, 2014

COLCOA 2014 Scores High In The LA Film Festival Circuit

By José Alberto Hermosillo

Hollywood, California. April 28, 2014.  COL-COA 2014 (City of Lights – City of Angels) ends up with a high score, bringing the best films, directors, and stars from France to Hollywood's heart. The week of French Premieres in Hollywood was held at the Director’s Guild of America, and it was a complete success; every screening was sold out.  
Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
COL-COA showcases la "crème de la crème" of French cinema in one spectacular week that began with “We Love You, You Bastard” directed by the legendary Claude Lelouch. The Oscar winner director for “A Man and a Woman” (1966). Lelouch introduced the film in person and stayed after for a very interesting Q&A. 
The conversation with him was a treat for film lovers.
The famous star of "Bastatd...," Johnny Hallyday, was present during the screening. 

Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
The Opening Night
The spectacular opening night welcomed everybody with a fabulous “champagne cocktail” at the elegant lobby of the DGA, where the French actors and filmmakers mingled with the crowd.   

During the week, COL-COA presented 61 films, including 20 shorts and 37 North American premieres, and 6 restored classics.
Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
Director Jean-Albert Llèvre, "Flore/Flore, route de la mer."
 Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
COLCOA showcased 4 new award winner documentaries: “On the Way to School,” “Stop-Over” (L’Escale), “How I Come to Hate Math,” and “Flore/Flore, route de la mer,” which won the best Documentary award.
Director Cédric Klapicsh. Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
COL-COA Classics 
A new section was introduced this year of French classics in their restored versions coming back to American theaters very soon. The selection included: "Purple Noon," "The Man Who Loved Women,” “Favorites of the Moon,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Queen Margot,” and “The Murderer Lives at Number 21.”  
Director Cédric Klapicsh and actor
Romain Duris presenting "Chinese Puzzle" to the press.
Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
 A special presentation of “L’Auberge Espagnole” that included a conversation with the acclaimed director Cédric Klapicsh. He also presented the West Coast premiere of his most recent work, “Chinese Puzzle,” which completes his trilogy with “Russian Dolls.”  

Actor Roman Duris. Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
Actor Romain Duris, who plays Xavier in the three films, made an introduction very simple and fun, saying: “Hello, I’m happy. I’m French”. The audience went nuts. In a press conference, I asked Mr. Doris: “How is it to be in bed with “Amélie?” I was making reference to the love scene he has with actress Andrey Tautou in “Chinese Puzzle.” He was speechless, and he only laughed because he was a gentleman.
Photo session. Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
COLCOA Meets the Press
COLCOA is the most press-friendly festival in Los Angeles, with 14 press screenings, 4 press conferences, interviews, photo opportunities, and access to all regular and special screenings. No press members were waiting outside the theaters.
The cast of the raucous comedy "Babysitting." Photo by Jose A. Hermosillo.
Film criticism is fundamental in the filmmaking process. If people wonder why French films have so much press coverage, it’s because someone is doing the job.    

Director Hèiler Cisterne, "Vandal." Photo by Jose A. Hermosillo.
- Critics Award: VANDAL
- Critics Special Prize: ONE OF A KIND
- Critics Special Mention THE ROOFTOPS

- Audience Award: TURNING TIDE
- Special Audience Prize: CHINESE PUZZLE
- Audience Special Mention: FOR A WOMAN
- First Feature Award: ME, MYSELF, AND MOM
- Best Documentary Award: FLORE
- Coming Soon Award: CHINESE PUZZLE

- Audience Short Award: THE AUDITION
- COLCOA Short Film Award: THE RUNAWAY
Yannick Saillet d. ¨Trapped/Piégé." Photo by Jose A. Hermosillo.
French Films for Everybody
COLCOA met everyone’s expectations in all genres: comedy, suspense, documentaries, and family dramas. The new “French NeWave 2” is in everybody's mouths with films considered as “provocateurs,” such as: “The Age of Panic/La Bataille de Solférino” (one of my favorites), “One of a Kind,” and this year Critic’s Award winner “Vandal,” directed by the young and talented Hèiler Cisterne.
Director Hèiler Cisterne, "Vandal." Photo by Jose A. Hermosillo
COLCOA had filmed for a mature audience made by great directors such as “Venus in Fur” by Roman Polanski, “Young and Beautiful” by Fraçois Ozon, “Not My Type” by Lucas Belvaux, “Love is a Perfect Crime” by Arnaud Larrieu and Jean-Marie Larrieu. “Abuse of Weakness/Abus de faiblesse” by Catherine Breillant, "Abuse..." has the stunning performance of Isabelle Huppert.  
(L.) Diane Kurys, "For a Woman." (R.) Director Hèiler Cisterne, "Vandal."

"For Woman” was an elegant time-period piece, well directed by Diane Kurys, who also told us that her film was autobiographical.

French Comedies Rock
COLCOA presented some risky parodies: “Jackie and the Kingdom of Women,” and comedies like: “Paulette” a drug dealer granny, “Superchondriac,” “9 Months Stretch” and the box office hit “Babysitting.” All comedies were among people’s favorites. 

Actor/director Albert Dupontel, “9 Months Stretch/9 mois ferme.”

“9 Months Stretch/9 mois ferme” is a story of a woman judge working in a court who gets pregnant by a thief. The film was directed and acted by Albert Dupontel, who does a terrific performance of this sneaky outlaw.
French film posters @ DGA Lobby. Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
French Film Industry
France has one of the world’s most healthy film industries, with more than 240 productions annually. French films do well at the European box office and are expanding to other markets.
COLCOA Opening night @ DGA. Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
If you missed COLCOA films, most would get a commercial run in US theaters during the year. You can also catch them on demand on other platforms, such as cable and video.  You want to know more about where the French films will be playing, you can join the COLCOA Facebook page.
The exterior of the DGA. Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
COLCOA, helmed by executive producer & artistic director Francois Truffaut, has been one of the best film festivals in Los Angeles. The organization was pristine.
COLCOA'S 18 ft. Anniversary Cake. Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo.

We’ll see you at #COLCOA 2015 for more French films that everybody loves. 

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