The COLCOA French Film Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year with a program that will include 70 films and television series. Running from April 18-26 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, the 2016 edition of the festival will include four world premieres, seven international premieres, 19 North American or U.S. premieres and 17 West Coast premieres. Organizers say it is now the largest event dedicated to French films and television in the world.
The festival will open with the North American premiere of "Monsieur Chocolat," directed by Roschdy Zem and starring Omar Sy in the a bio-pic of Rafael Padilla, a former slave who became a clown and France's first famous black performer in the late 19th century. James Thiérrée, modern-day circus star and grandson of Charlie Chaplin, costars as Padilla's onstage partner.
COLCOA – which stands for "City of Light, City of Angels" – will close with the world premiere of the romantic comedy "Up for Love," written and directed by Laurent Tirard and starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin.
"This 20th anniversary deserves a spectacular, strong program that reflects the diversity of French production, as well as the creativity and dynamism of French filmmakers and producers," said François Truffart, COLCOA executive producer and artistic director, in a statement. "More than ever, we are about to involve audiences in a journey that will stir them, make them laugh, cry, tickle their curiosity, and help them remain optimistic, while recognizing the urgent world zeitgeist."
Also among the feature films screening at the festival are Lola Doillon's "Fanny's Journey," Nicolas Boukhrief's "Made in France," Robert Guédiguian's "Don't Tell Me the Boy Was Mad," Claude Lelouch's "Un Plus Une," and Nicolas Benamou and Philippe Lacheau's "All Gone South."
Also screening will be Philippe Faucon's "Fatima" and Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent's documentary "Tomorrow." Both films were major prize winners at France's recent Cesar awards.
Other features screening include Nabil Ayouch's "Much Loved," Leyla Bouzid's "As I Open My Eyes," Eva Husson's "Bang Gang," Anne Fontaine's "The Innocents" and Maïwenn's "My King."
For the second year, the festival will continue to branch out into television works. Two episodes each will be screened of the recent French series "Call My Agent," "The Disappearance" and "The Secret of Elise." Five movies made for TV will also be shown, with "Borderline," "Carpets and Chaos," "Stolen Babies," "The Wall-Crosser" and "Woman Under Influence."