2016 COLCOA French Film Festival

April 18, 2016 Presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund

From April 18-26, COLCOA (formerly City of Lights • City of Angels), the annual nine-day festival of French Films in Hollywood returned to DGA headquarters in Los Angeles. This year, COLCOA featured an exclusive program of more than 70 films and television series, an array of the latest French productions that showcase the vitality and the diversity of the third largest film industry in the world. All films were being presented for the first time in Los Angeles, including several U.S. and North American premieres and all screenings were free to DGA Members with RSVP.

During the opening night celebrations on April 18, DGA Board members mingled with other VIPs at a gala reception. In welcoming the attendees, DGA President Paris Barclay remarked, “This week we are celebrating not only the 20th Anniversary of COLCOA but the 20th Anniversary of the Franco-American Cultural Fund (FACF) which created this Festival back in 1996 and which has funded and guided it over the past two decades. We would not be here today without the foresight of those founders who believed that while cultures have nationalities, artists and their art should not.”

Barclay went on to acknowledge the presence of four of the founding members of the FACF – DGA National Executive Director Jay D. Roth, WGAw representatives Carl Gottlieb and Brian Walton, and MPA representative Bob Hadl – and thanked them and their compatriots for their vision and their belief in the uniting power of cinema and art. He also took a moment to applaud the work of COLCOA Executive Producer and Artistic Director Francois Truffart, and the long-term support of the French Embassy and its Consulate in Los Angeles. He then turned the stage over to the Ambassador of France to the U.S., Gérard Araud, who had traveled from Washington, DC to take part in the evening’s celebration.

DGA National Board and FACF board member Michael Mann later spoke to the attendees about his long-running connection to the FACF – acknowledging the important work of the late DGA President and FACF founding member Gil Cates, and former DGA Vice President and FACF board member John Frankenheimer: “John and Gil are no longer with us, but their spirits certainly are. And, they would be impressed with everything the fund has accomplished.”

COLCOA’s opening night gala was highlighted by the North American Premiere of Director Roschdy Zem’s Monsieur Chocolat, a lavish biopic set in the Belle Époque world of circus and music halls. It was followed by a Q&A with Director Roschdy Zem and actor Omar Sy, moderated by DGA Special Projects Committee Chair Jeremy Kagan.

Over the course of the week, DGA members also moderated other post-screening conversations including Director Agnieszka Holland who spoke with Director Anne Fontaine about her film The Innocents (Les Innocentes); Director Andy Wolk who spoke with Director Alain Berliner about his film Stolen Babies (Bébés volés); Director Joe Dante who spoke with Co-Directors Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet about their documentary The Frankenstein Complex (Les Complexe de Frankenstein) a film that featured Dante as a subject; and Kagan returned to speak with Director Nicolas Boukhrief about his film Made in France.  DGA members also served on juries for the festival with Director Mick Garris on the COLCOA Shorts Competition jury and Director John Bowab on the COLCOA Television Competition jury.

Other highlights for this year’s festivities included the return of the popular one hour panel discussion series Happy Hour Talks, one of which was Franco-American Cultural Fund and COLCOA “Two Countries, One Passion” for 20 Years, a celebration of the festival and its founder featuring DGA Associate Executive Director, Government & International Affairs Kathy Garmezy as a panelist; and the Focus on a Filmmaker salute to Director Jean-Paul Rappeneau, the Academy Award-nominated writer-director of Cyrano, which featured a screening of a restored version of his 1966 film A Matter of Resistance and the U.S. Premiere of his latest film Families. The festival also continued the COLCOA Educational Program that presented screenings to hundreds of students from local high schools.


About the Festival

COLCOA is presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a partnership of the Directors Guild of America, the Motion Picture Association, France’s Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM), and the Writers Guild of America, West, and is produced in association with France’s Writers, Directors and Producers Association (L’ARP), the CNC, the Los Angeles Film and TV Office of the French Embassy, and Unifrance. The DGA has supported the festival since its founding in 1996.


photos by Valerie Macon/APF, Charles-Eric Browning/La Boite LLC, Pascal Halim/La Boite LLC, Raziel España/La Boite LLC, and Tricia Noble/DGA Staff

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Presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund
Presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund