L.A. French film fest sets 10 premieres

The 16th City of Lights, City of Angels, the annual French cinema showcase that kicks off April 16 at the DGA in Los Angeles, will unspool 10 North American premieres, including helmer Florent-Emilio Siri’s “My Way,” a biopic about French pop star Claude Francois, and 14 West Coast preems.

Event closes April 23 with the Weinstein Co.’s “The Intouchables,” France’s top-grossing film of 2011 with $164 million. It stars Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy, who won a best actor Cesar, and reps the fourth Colcoa outing for writer-directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.

Colcoa exec-artistic director Francois Truffart cited Oscar winner “The Artist” as representative of “a remarkable year for French cinema,” adding, “we are glad to introduce a broad spectrum of new films to Hollywood that reveal both the quality and diversity of recent French productions.”

Among the offerings are two films making the fest rounds, Maiwenn’s “Polisse” (Sunset Selects), the Cannes Jury Special Prize winner, and Berlin opener “Farewell My Queen” from writer-director Benoit Jacquot.

Making their U.S. preems are Christian Rouaud’s best doc Cesar winner “Leadersheep” and Philippe Ramos’ “The Silence of Joan,” as well as the North American preem of Sylvie Testud’s “Another Woman’s Life,” starring Juliette Binoche. Also in the program is the L.A. premiere of Strand Releasing’s “17 Girls,” from sister helmer scribes Delphine and Muriel Coulin.

The program features several directorial debuts, including “Love Lasts Three Years” from novelist Frederic Beigbeder; “The Adopted,” from actress-turned-filmmaker Melanie Laurent (“Inglourious Basterds,” “The Beginners”); Christopher Sahr’s “Freeway”; Cyril Mennegun’s “Louise Wimmer” and Mathieu Demy’s “Americano,” starring Salma Hayek.

Colcoa Classics will pay tribute to Yves Montand with a restored version of helmer-scribe Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s “Call Me Savage” (1975). In addition, writer-director and guest curator Alexander Payne selected Marcel Carne’s “Hotel du Nord” as part of the Carte Blanche program.

Film Noir will include the West Coast preem of Philippe Lefebvre’s “Paris by Night.” And this year’s Focus on a Filmmaker honoree is multihyphenate Julie Delpy, who will present her new film, “Le SkyLab.” Delpy’s “Two Days in Paris” (Samuel Goldwyn Films) will also appear in the lineup.

Colcoa is funded by the Franco-American Cultural Fund with the help of several sponsors. For program info go to http://www.colcoa.org.

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