‘Les Misérables’ to open Colcoa French Film Festival


Michael friggin’ Mann.

I was less than 20 feet away from one of my directing idols (Manhunter, Heat, Collateral) as he addressed the guests of the The Franco-American Cultural Fund reception for the program announcement of the 23rd annual Colcoa French Film Festival.

If you have been living on another planet, Colcoa is considered the largest festival dedicated to French films and series worldwide

Considered the largest festival dedicated to French films and series worldwide, the festival will open with the U.S. premiere of Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables on Monday, September 23. It will be the first festival to kick off the newly renovated DGA (Director’s Guild) in Hollywood which Mann went into detail about.

“This high-profile program includes several films from Cannes and Venice programmed for the first time in the U.S., as well as films presented before their release in France,” stated François Truffart, Colcoa Executive Producer and Artistic Director.  “It shows the faithfulness of distributors, producers and sponsors, who strongly believe that Colcoa has become an established event in Hollywood.”

Amazon Studios’ Les Misérables, won the Jury Prize at the last Cannes Film Festival and the 2019 D’Ornano-Valenti Prize. Victor Hugo’s magnum opus is both lionized and shaken up in Ladj Ly’s sprawling fresco of his native Montfermeil – a collection of housing projects crawling with sleazy cops, small-time hoods, the Muslim Brotherhood, and a ragtag group of kids left to fend for themselves… all jockeying for turf and struggling to forestall the inevitable.

Majestic, stirring, gripping and compassionate, with a musical score that is, at once, moving and thrilling, the film follows an upright cop on his first day on the job, as he learns the ropes and struggles to hold onto his principles.

It opens with a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise and a joyous eruption of fraternité and concludes with a resounding eleventh-hour alarm and powerful plea to diffuse the tinderbox and somehow resolve all this anger and violence. Watch the trailer below:

59 films will screen this year at Colcoa, which will feature the premieres of 25 films. Highlights include The Room (North American Premiere); w/d Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne’s drama Young Ahmed (North American Premiere); w/d Cédric Klapisch’s new pursuit of love, Someone, Somewhere, (North American Premiere); w/d Cédric Kahn’s dysfunctional family portrait, Happy Birthday (North American Premiere), starring Catherine Deneuve; and w/d Nicolas Boukhrief’s thriller based on Pierre Lemaitre’s novel, Three Days and a Life (International Premiere).

Newcomers include w/d Antoine Raimbault’s courtroom drama, Conviction (Los Angeles Premiere) and w/d Mikhaël Hers post-traumatic stress disorder drama, Amanda (Los Angeles Premiere).

There are several films written and directed by women including Andréa Bescond’s autobiographical feature (made with w/d Eric Métayer) about her sexual abuse as a child, Little Tickles (Los Angeles Premiere); w/d Mounia Meddour’s Algerian civil war drama, Papicha (North American Premiere and Algeria’s official entry for the Oscars); w/d Claire Burger’s family drama, Real Love (Los Angeles Premiere), director Fabienne Godet’s powerful drama about recovery, Our Wonderful Lives (U.S. Premiere); w/d Marie-Sophie Chambon’s debut feature film on how it feels to be an outsider, Stars by the Pound (North American Premiere); and w/d Sarah Suco’s autobiographical film, The Dazzled (International Premiere).

Other exciting programs offered throughout the festival include: After 10 series (September 24 – 28); COLCOA Classics (September 24-27), COLCOA Documentaries (September 24-28); World Cinema Produced by France, French NeWave 2.0, exploring a new generation of filmmakers, and the Happy Hour Talks, a series of panels presented in association with Variety (September 24-28) that are free to the general public.

Additional programming will be announced shortly. The festival runs September 23-28 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, as part of Awards Season (Fall? what’s fall?) in Hollywood.

And Michael friggin’ Mann.

Source: Colcoa