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City of Lights, City of Angels French film fest books 38 features

March 26, 2013|By Susan King
  • "It Happened in Saint-Tropez" with Kad Merad and Monica Bellucci opens the City of Lights, City of Angels French film festival.
"It Happened in Saint-Tropez" with Kad Merad and Monica Bellucci… (Emilie de la Hosseraye )

The 17th City of Lights, City of Angels French film festival announced its most ambitious slate to date Tuesday with 38 feature films and 19 shorts. Of the 38 features, three are international premieres, 11 are North American or U.S. premieres and 16 are West Coast premieres. The festival runs April 15 to 22 at the Directors Guild Theater.

Opening night will see the North American premiere of the romantic comedy "It Happened in Saint-Tropez," from director and co-writer Daniele Thompson (“Avenue Montaigne”).

"The film will open in France just five days before COLCOA," said Francois Truffart, executive producer and artistic director of the festival. The comedy stars Monica Bellucci and Kad Merad.

Two films in the festival will be distributed this summer in the U.S. by the Weinstein Co. -- "Populaire,” a romantic comedy with Romain Duris and Berenice Bejo of “The Artist,” and  “Haute Cuisine,” which is described as a comedy of “power and food.”

Other highlights of the festival include Ziad Doueiri's "The Attack”; Stephane Brize’s  “A Few Hours of Spring”;  Philippe Le Guay’s new comedy “Cycling With Moliere,” with Lambert Wilson and Fabrice Luchini; Francois Ozon’s award-winning “In the House,” which opens here on April 19 from Cohen Media Group; veteran Alain Resnais’ new film, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”; and “Therese,” the final film from writer-director Claude Miller, with Audrey Tautou.

The COLCOA Classics series will pay tribute to the late director Jacques Demy with the international premiere of the restoration of his 1963 film "Bay of Angels,” as well as highlighting the work of Andre Techine ("The Bronte Sisters”), Maurice Pialat (“To Our Loves”), and writer-director Louis Malle (“The Fire Within”).

The final film in competition, “Jappeloup,” written by and starring Guillaume Canet, will screen  April 21.

For the first time in its history, the festival will announce its award winners  on Monday instead of Sunday evening. Truffart also is presenting two French films out of competition for the final night.  “We will announce the films at the beginning of the festival,”  he said.

The festival also features two new series -- Focus on a Producer and World Cinema Produced by France.

The inaugural Focus on a Producer will feature a conversation with  Anne-Dominique Toussaint. “Every year we are going to have one producer who can talk about his or her projects, but also how films are produced in France,” said Truffart.

“It’s a very important question for people here. They want to understand how this country is able to produce so many and different films.”

For the complete lineup go to www.colcoa.com.

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