L.A.’s COLCOA French Film Fest Introduces TV Competition

Recognizing television as the New Frontier of creative expression on both sides of the Atlantic, the 19th annual COLCOA French Film Festival, running April 20-28, has introduced a new competition dedicated to films and series produced for the smallscreen.

Underscoring the medium’s importance to the festival and its industry patrons both here and abroad, COLCOA’s closing offering will be filled by the international premiere of TV competition entry “White Soldier,” from director Erick Zonca (“Dreamlife of Angels”), which examines the French role in colonial Vietnam circa 1945. The co-closer, which will be the final film in competition, will be announced on the fest’s opening night.

The fest, backed by the Franco-American Cultural Fund and hosted by the DGA at its Sunset Boulevard headquarters in Los Angeles, will open with the North American Premiere of “A Perfect Man,” a thriller about literary plagiarism starring recent Cesar-winning actor Pierre Niney (“Yves Saint Laurent”).

In all, a record 68 offerings — including 41 narrative features and documentaries, 20 shorts, as well as movie classics and TV episodes — will comprise the program. Many of the entries are timed close to their French release date, including the world premiere of the romantic comedy “Blind Date,” the feature directorial debut of actor-turned-filmmaker Clovis Cornillac, who also stars.

Animation will also join the competition this year, distinguished by the U.S. premiere of Pascal Morelli’s “108 Demon-Kings,” which mixes live action with 2D and 3D animation.

The TV competition will include the North American premiere of “Chefs”; the U.S. premiere of “Spiral” (aka Engrenages) and the international premiere of “Templeton,” with the first two episodes of each series being shown.

“We decided to initiate a mixed program of selections made for both cinema and television, one of the first in the United States, not only because of the evolution of the market, the industry and film viewers’ habits, but also because American directors, writers and now distributors — who are an invaluable part of our audience — are involved in both fields,” said François Truffart, COLCOA executive producer and artistic director, in a statement.

Among the more established names in the program are Anne Fontaine (“Gemma Bovery”), Patrice Leconte (“Do Not Disturb”), André Techiné (“In the Name of My Daughter”) and Michel Hazanavicius, the Oscar-winning director of “The Artist” who will unveil his latest, “The Search,” featuring “Artist” star Bérénice Bejo. Hazanavicius will also be the subject of COLCOA’s Focus on a Filmmaker program on April 23, when his “OSS 117, Cairo Nest of Spies,” also featuring Bejo and her “Artist” co-star Jean Dujardin, will be screened. (Dujardin’s new film, “The Connection,” will be part of the fest’s Film Noir Series, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary.)

Rising talents include César winner Thomas Cailley (Cannes Directors’ Fortnight sensation “Love at First Fight”) and the aptly named Frank Ribière (high-end beef doc “Steak (R) Evolution”).

Notable among the competing docs is “Cartoonists, Foot Soldiers of Democracy,” a global examination of political cartoons and a seeming homage to the Charlie Hebdo journalists murdered in Paris in January, from writer-director Stéphanie Valloatto. Also vying for the doc prize is “Of Men and War,” which chronicles a dozen Iraq war vets being treated for PTSD from writer-director Laurent Bécue-Renard.

The Franco-American Cultural Fund consists of a partnership of the Directors Guild of America, the Motion Picture Association, France’s Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music, and the Writers Guild of America, West. All screenings are in French with English subtitles with the exception of “Of Men and War” and “108 Demon-Kings,” both being presented in English.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard – “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a comeback. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s “Breaking Bad” movie quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Samara Weaving and Adam Brody Big

    'Ready or Not': That Time Samara Weaving Hit Andie MacDowell in the Face

    Samara Weaving didn’t mean to hurt Andie MacDowell, but she did just that while they were rehearsing for their new horror dark comedy “Ready or Not.” “I hit Andie MacDowell in the face by accident,” Weaving says on this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast. “It was horrible. It was [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • Tom Holland'Spider-Man: Homecoming' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Tom Holland Addresses Spider-Man’s Studio Divorce at D23: ‘I Love You 3000’

    British actor Tom Holland showed face on the main stage at D23 on Saturday, in the thick of an ugly studio battle over the rights to his iconic Marvel character Spider-Man. Headlines have been rolling in for days about the contentious battle for the cinematic future of the hero, after Sony Pictures became unwilling to [...]

  • Soul Movie

    Pixar's 'Soul' Announces Voice Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey to Star

    Disney debuted a first look at upcoming Pixar film “Soul” at the D23 expo in Anaheim, Calif. and announced its star-studded voice cast. “Soul” imagines that every person on earth comes pre-installed with a soul formed and perfected in a cosmic realm. Jamie Foxx will play a middle-school music teacher on earth who dreams of [...]

  • Emma Stone Variety Actors on Actors

    First Look at Emma Stone in Disney's Live-Action 'Cruella' Drops

    Emma Stone’s Cruella de Vil is significantly more punk rock than her animated counterpart. Stone appeared via video message to debut the first look of the titular character in Disney’s “Cruella” at D23 on Saturday, also revealing that it will take place in the punk rock era of the 1970s. In the first photo, Stone [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content