COLCOA Film Festival Review

This year was my third year enjoying the fruits of the COLCOA Film Festival. That’s City of Lights – City of Angels, i.e., Paris – Los Angeles.

COLCOA is an annual French film festival featuring the best of new French film. Many films being screened premiere for the first time on the West Coast, or in the U.S., or in North America, at this festival. Tickets are inexpensive, and the crowd is always lovely.

To whet your appetite, here’s a clip from one of my favorite shorts screened at the festival. Not quite as funny without context (and without an entire theatre pealing in laughter), but you get the gist.

A Birthday Surprise (Le Grand moment de solitude)was funny, relatable, with perfect timing. I am excited to see more of this director’s work.
Many of the screenings include Q&A’s with directors, writers, or actors. There are also special events–coffee and tea, complimentary breakfasts, cocktail receptions, wine and cheese (mais oui!). If you add COLCOA on Facebook or Twitter, you will often receive invitations to free screenings or special events as well.

This year, I had the pleasure of visiting the Director’s Guild of America (where the festival is held) three times during the week-long festival. I will briefly review the films I saw–My Afternoons with Margueritte (La tête en friche), My Piece of the Pie (Ma Part du Gâteau), and Beautiful Lies (De vrais mensonges)–next week.

In addition to feature films, the festival also hosts a short film competition. I greatly enjoyed the short film competition this year, though, alas, my favorite did not win any awards. The films that did win the short competition, I also enjoyed, but they were mostly artsy and a little, well, what mainstream America thinks French cinema is.

My friends and I had extensive discussions on how one film in particular (Beautiful Lies) would definitely ended differently if remade for an American audience. The festival itself is an interesting concept, French film for French-Americans, French expats, and non-French Americans. As I said before, a good crowd. And always a good time.

More information here

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