Colcoa Increases Profile as Networking Hub

Francophile showcase commands intersection of Hollywood and Seine

City of Lights, City of Angels, L.A.’s annual French film showcase, has always been about maintaining a bridge between Hollywood and Paris. As such, the weeklong event has doubled as one continuous networking opportunity for a certain segment of the biz, and for the 17th edition, it’s even more so.

“Up until now we mostly focused on distributors and we realized that there was a gap we needed to fill as more American producers are looking for new talent, co-production opportunities, or are just eager to learn more about how business in done in France,” says Francois Truffart, the fest’s exec producer and artistic director. “Colcoa has become a good place to scout for remakes, we hope it can also give birth to co-productions going forward.”

This year’s featured producer is Les Films des Tournelles founder Anne-Dominique Toussaint, who boasts two entries at this year’s Colcoa: Rachid Djaidani’s Rengaine and Philippe Le Guay’s Cycling With Moliere; also set to compete at the Lincoln Center’s New Director/New Film fest and Tribeca, respectively.

Per Toussaint: “The success of The Artist and Intouchables, among other recent French films, has strengthen tiesbetween U.S. and French film industries and opened doors for collaborations.”

A number of French producers, notably Alain Attal (Blood Ties) and Eric Altmayer (In the House), have projects set up in North America. And as many as 40% of the films presented at this year’s Colcoa have a U.S. distributor. Among them: the comedies Populaire and Haute Cuisine (Weinstein Co.); Alain Resnais’ You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Kino Lorber);

Francois Ozon’s In the House and Ziad Doueiri’s The Attack (Cohen Media Group); Alexandre de la Patelliere and Matthieu Delaporte’s What’s in a Name? (Under the Milky Way); and Eli Wajeman’s Alyah and Catherine Corsini’s Three Worlds (Film Movement).

In this regard, Truffart says Colcoa’s No. 1 goal remains to create a promotional launchpad for French films, which is why the Press Sessions and Coming Soon award will bow this year, the latter of which is determined by Colcoa auds and offer the U.S. distributor a promotional campaign via public radio station KPCC.

“Building events around film releases and creating awareness is more crucial than ever considering the skyrocketing

P&A that U.S. distributors have to put up to roll films out,” says Truffart.

As opposed to Lincoln Center’s Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, Colcoa has never been about high art, but its populist bent hasn’t canceled out the intellectual rigor of such filmmakers as Laurent Cantet (Heading South, The Class) or the daring of Olivier Assayas (Demonlover).

“Colcoa has a role to play in North America: It showcases the kind of commercial and well-polished French films that U.S. buyers seldom see playing at festivals,” says Lionel Uzan, head of sales and acquisitions at SND.

“The big plus of Colcoa,” he adds, “is that screenings are filled and are attended by all the key buyers and important American execs.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Universal Screens 'Bride of Frankenstein,' Releases

    Universal Screens 'Bride of Frankenstein,' Releases Franz Waxman Score for First Time

    Halloween is only days away, and what better way to celebrate than with a classic monster movie that’s been fully restored and whose original score has, 84 years later, finally been issued as a soundtrack album? Universal screened its 1935 “Bride of Frankenstein” Monday night to an appreciative audience on the studio lot, following a [...]

  • Adam Driver'Marriage Story' photocall, 76th Venice

    Adam Driver in Talks to Join Matt Damon in Ridley Scott's 'Last Duel' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Adam Driver is in early talks to co-star opposite Matt Damon in Disney-Fox’s “The Last Duel,” a period drama from director Ridley Scott. Sources tell Variety that Ben Affleck, who originally eyed what would be Driver’s leading role, will now appear in a supporting part along with “Killing Eve” actress Jodie Comer. Set in 14th [...]

  • John Clarke dead Days of Our

    'Days of Our Lives' Star John Clarke Dies at 88

    John Clarke, best known for portraying Mickey Horton on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” died due to complications of pneumonia in Laguna Beach, Calif. on Oct. 16. He was 88. Clarke suffered a stroke in 2007 and had been in a state of deteriorating health over the past few years. His daughter, Melinda, [...]

  • I Lost My Body

    ‘I Lost My Body’ Wins Grand Prize at Animation Is Film Festival

    “I Lost My Body,” the curious story of a disembodied hand searching to reunite with its body, won the grand prize at the Animation is Film Festival, held Oct. 18-20 in Los Angeles. The audience prize was split between two films, Makoto Shinkai’s “Weathering With You” and “The Swallows of Kabul” by Zabou Breitman and [...]

  • Jon Favreau'The Lion King' film premiere,

    Jon Favreau Addresses Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola's Criticism of Marvel Movies

    Jon Favreau, actor, director and staple in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, addressed Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s criticisms of Marvel movies during an interview with CNBC.  “These two guys are my heroes and they’ve earned the right to express their opinions,” Favreau said. “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if they didn’t carve [...]

  • Sir Lionel Frost (left) voiced by

    Laika Plans All-Day Retrospective of Catalog

    Award-winning animation studio Laika (“ParaNorman,” “Coraline”) will present a special retrospective entitled Missing Link and the Evolution of Laika in Los Angeles on Oct. 27. Taking place at The Landmark, the all-day event will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a screening of BAFTA Award-winning film “Kubo and the Two Strings” and close with an 8:45 [...]

  • Best Picture Contenders

    Examining the Best Picture Race in a Year of Disruption

    In the lead-up to Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” there was some fretting about how a director known for grindhouse exploitation might handle the summer of 1969, when the Manson murders capped a period of social upheaval. While Tarantino does get around to what happened on Cielo Drive on the fateful [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content