Friday, September 6, 2019


By José Alberto Hermosillo
COLCOA 23rd Anniversary - September 23-28, 2019

After a long break, COLCOA (City of Lights, City of Angels) returns to Los Angeles the last week of September 23-28, 2019. The French Film Festival is the largest and most prestigious festival dedicated to French cinema outside France.

Presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund, Colcoa celebrates its 23rd Anniversary with three important updates – 1. The DGA (Director Guild of America) theaters underwent a state-of-the-art renovation, and it will project every single film to perfection. 2. Due to its official venue renovation, the French festival has moved from the Spring to the Fall. 3. Lastly, with the new dates, the organizers hope to bring French cinema to the spotlight during the Awards Season.

Michael Mann. Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo ©2019 Festival in LA.

The DGA, an Extraordinary Venue
At a press conference held at the French Consulate house in Beverly Hills, renowned director Michael Mann (“Heat,” “The Insider,” “Collateral”) introduced the DGA Theater's new features, which include the Dolby Vision projection system and Dolby Atmos System. Also, the DGA is upgrading its 35 and 70-mm feature film projection systems.

The extensive DGA Theater renovation took about six months to complete. The upgrades were designed by film directors to make the audience feel as if they were inside the movie or behind the screen. The French Film Festival will be the first event hosted at the renovated DGA theaters to offer this experience to the public who love foreign films.

COLCOA Press Conference. Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo ©2019 Festival in LA.

This year, Colcoa is focusing more on promoting fewer films to make a lasting impression of French films in the American market before the end of the year. Colcoa will showcase 59 premieres, including documentaries, features, animations, shorts, and the classics. Everybody loves the classics.

Champagne at Colcoa's Opening Night. Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo ©2019 Festival in LA.

From Cannes to Los Angeles
For the first time, Angelenos will have the opportunity to view many films premiered in Cannes sooner. In some cases, other exceptional projects still need distribution in US theaters. Plus, we will have the opportunity to meet and listen to the French filmmakers and some cast members.

Opening Night
The Opening Night Gala is a French festival highlight where many European stars mingle with Hollywood celebrities. The guests can enjoy champagne and hors d'oeuvres from some of the most excellent French restaurants in the city.

Les Miserables movie review
“Les Misérables” U.S. Premiere, COLCOA Opening Film

Les Misérables, directed by Ladj Ly, is the opening film. This contemporary adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel focuses on the "new" diversity of Parisian housing projects with sleazy cops, small-time hoods, The Muslim Brotherhood, and ragtag children. This controversial film won the Jury Prize and the 2019 D’Ormano-Valenti Prize at Cannes.

Costa-Gavras. © Pathé Distribution
The French festival highlights include prestigious Academy Award winner directors such as Costa-Gavras (“Z,” “The Confession,” and “Amen”) presenting his latest work, “Adults in the Room.” The prizewinner director returns to his roots of political struggles. Now, in the middle of the Greek economic crises that rocked the world. His film clearly shows the Greek tragedy that led to the 2015 bail-out referendum. “Adults in the Room” has the structure of an intense thriller that keeps spectators on the edge of their seats. Costa-Gavras will be attending the festival.
“Young Ahmed” COLCOA, North America Premiere

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, two-time Palme d’Or winner directors, presenting their up-to-date work “Young Ahmed.” The Dardenne brothers won the Best Director award at Cannes this year with this film.

“Papicha” COLCOA, North America Premiere
Films Directed by Women
Many of the films showcased in Colcoa are written and directed by women, such as Papicha by Mounia Meddour. “Papicha” is part of World Cinema produced by France, and it is the Algerian Oscar© Submission in the category of Best International Feature Film.

“I Lost My Body” COLCOA Special Presentation.

The Festival Animated Features:

I Lost My Body,” a nostalgic and poetic animation directed by Jérémy Clapin. This detective story is a mixture of horror and romance. This outstanding first-time work received the Critic’s Week Grand Prize at Cannes.

“Minuscule: Mandibles From Far Away” COLCOA Los Angeles Premiere

Minuscule: Mandibles From Far Away,” directed by Héléne Giraud and Thomas Szabo, is a spectacular 3D animated delight. This tender coming-of-age story centers on a Ladybug from the snowy mountains of France trapped in a case of chestnut cream shipped off to a tropical paradise. It is a tale of solidarity, tolerance, and friendship. Both animated French films meet the Academy requirements to qualify for the Oscars 2020.

“La Belle Époque” COLCOA U.S. Premiere

Closing Night Film is Nicolas Bedos’ “La Belle Époque.” The film stars Daniel Auteuil, Guillaume Canet, Doria Tillier, and Fanny Ardant. This time-traveling comedy got an eight-minute standing ovation at its premiere in Cannes.

Colcoa Community Outreach

The French film festival with ELMA (European Languages and Movies in America) has significant community outreach. Both nonprofit organizations positively impact hundreds of high school students from different parts of the city to get the whole experience of the French cinema and participate in what we call a World-Class Film Festival.

For tickets, complete the program, morning freebies, talent, filmmakers, and COLCOA RETURNS (11:00 a.m.), visit

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