‘Closet’ to open Franco-L.A. film festival

Event spotlights six French films

Francis Veber’s “The Closet,” starring Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu, Thierry Lhermitte, Michele Laroque, Michel Aumont and Jean Rochefort, will open the fifth annual City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival in L.A., which runs April 10-14 at the Directors Guild of America.

The fest, which showcases French cinema and spotlights six new films, is funded by the Franco-American Cultural Fund — a collaboration among the DGA, the Motion Picture Assn., Writers Guild of America West and France’s Society of Authors, Composers & Editors of Music.

Other fest screenings include writer-director Anne Villaceque’s “Petite cherie,” Claude Chabrol’s “Nightcap,” Michel Ocelot’s “Princes and Princesses” and Arnaud Desplechin’s “Esther Kahn.” Shorts to be shown include “La flamme” (Ron Dyens), “Des morceaux de ma femme” (Frederic Pelle), “Nouvelle de la tour L” (Samuel Benchetrit), and “La jetee” and “L’Ambassade” (Chris Marker).

The event is co-sponsored and co-programmed by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and France’s Assn. of Authors, Directors and Producers, with the support of the French Consulate in L.A. and Unifrance.

“The MPA is joyful and honored to support this celebration of French film creativity,” said Jack Valenti, chairman-CEO of the Motion Picture Assn. “The French film community is inhabited by some of the greatest creative talents in the world. I know that anyone attending this festival will come away with a better understanding and appreciation of the French contribution to the world of film.”

John Wells, president of the WGAW, added, “The festival spotlights the best and the brightest of new films and filmmakers while providing the vital opportunity for creative cultural exchange with our colleagues from France.”

All screenings are in French with English subtitles, except for the film “Esther Kahn,” which will be shown in its original English-lingo version, and are open to the public. General admission is $7; $5 for students and seniors.

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