The Colcoa French Film Festival is back in Hollywood to celebrate its 25th anniversary

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(AFP) – After a year of absence linked to the pandemic, the Colcoa festival in Los Angeles, the largest festival devoted to French film in the world, is back to celebrate his 25 th birthday, in the flesh and at full capacity.

The vocation de Colcoa is to show Hollywood the best of French productions. And it is with “Ouistreham”, unveiled at Cannes this summer but which will not be released in France and the United States until next year, that the organizers have chosen to open this new edition (from November 1 to 7).

Third feature film by writer and director Emmanuel Carrère, “Ouistreham”, adapted from a book by Florence Aubenas, paints a moving portrait of marginalized and downgraded women, with Juliette Binoche in the spotlight and surrounded by non-professional actresses, some of whom play their own role.

In total, Colcoa offers 55 French films and television series, often screened for the first time in North America.

And despite the pandemic which has put an end to productions in the whole world, the festival has not lacked candidates this year.

“Contrary to what one would have thought after all these months of confinement, this very diverse program and high level is a reflection of the number inc royally responsible for films that have been produced in France over the past two years, “says François Truffart, executive producer and artistic director of the festival. “We had to make difficult choices”, he underlines.

Colcoa (for “City of Lights, City of Angels”, respective nicknames of Paris and Los Angeles) , was created here 25 years ago thanks to the private copying levy introduced in France.

Sacem, the body managing French copyright, signed in March 1996 an agreement with the two American professional guilds representing audiovisual creators (DGA for producers, WGA for screenwriters) joined by the Association of Major Hollywood Studios to create a cultural fund intended to promote cinema, partly funded by this royalty.

It is thus was born the Franco-American Cultural Fund, organizer of Colcoa and which also finances the restoration of many films.

– Pierre Niney and Charlotte Gainsbourg –

The past two years have paradoxically been good for the works French. “In a world that had to take shelter for a year because of the pandemic, French stories (+ Lupine +, + Ten percent +) went around the world while people were isolated at home”, notes Anouchka van Riel, deputy director of Colcoa.

Thanks to strict sanitary measures, the festival, hosted in the DGA cinema in Hollywood, will be able to operate at full capacity, insist the organizers.

Colcoa attracts more than 19 each year. 000 spectators and screenings will be organized again this year for some 3. 000 high school students from Southern California in order to “build the next generation of spectators for French cinema”.

On the program this year, the film “Black Box”, a thriller about an investigator, played by Pierre Niney, who seeks to solve the mystery on the crash of a Dubai-Paris flight which caused 300 dead in the A lpes; “Le bal des folles” by Mélanie Laurent; or “Titanium” by Julia Ducournau, in the running to represent France at the Oscars next year.

Colcoa will also unveil to the Californian public the documentary “Jane by Charlotte”, written and directed by Charlotte Gainsbourg who films her mother Jane Birkin in an unprecedented exchange spanning several years.

Side series, in addition to hits like “Paris Police 1900 “and” The Opera “, the festival highlights” On The Verge “, a comedy written, directed and performed by Julie Delpy which takes place in a Los Angeles before Covid – 19 where four friends are struggling in the midst of an existential crisis.

The series is broadcast in France by Canal + and on Netflix in the rest of the world.

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