At the City of Lights, City of Angels (COL-COA) festival in LA, "The Intouchables" won the two top prizes, the COL-COA Audience Award and the Critics Special Prize. This two-honor coup is unprecedented in the festival's history. COL-COA also had record attendance this year, reporting an audience of 18,893.
"The Intouchables" is written and directed by previous COL-COA Audience Choice winners, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. It tells the story of a quadriplegic aristocrat injured in a paragliding accident and his young assistant, a man from the French projects. After its release in France on November 2011, it became the second most successful French film of all time (in attendance), just behind the 2008 film "Welcome to the Sticks." Omar Sy won the Cesar Award for Best Actor on February 24, 2012, beating Jean Dujardin, nominated for "The Artist." The Weinstein Company will release the film on May 25, 2012. (Trailer posted below.)
Of the 29 features and 21 shorts competing for COL-COA awards, the winners include:
"Early One Morning" (De bon matin) was awarded the LAFCA Critics Award by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association jury at the 16th City of Lights, City of Angels French film festival. The film was written by Jean-Marc Moutot, Oliver Gorce and Sophie Fillières and directed by Jean-Marc Moutout.
Critics Special Mention for "Polisse", written by Maïwenn and Emmanuelle Bercot and directed by Maïwenn. The Sunset Selects release opens May 18.
The First Feature Award went to "The Adopted," written by Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Perez and Chris Deslandes and directed by Mélanie Laurent.
The Audience Special Prize went to the documentary "Leadersheep," written and directed by Christian Rouaud.
"The Well Digger’s Daughter," written by Simon Michael, Philippe Isard, Philippe Lefebvre, based on the original work by Philippe Isard and directed by Philippe Lefevbre won the Audience Special Mention.
"Everyone Says I Love You" won the Jury Short Film Award and was written and directed by Cécile Ducrocq.
Jury Special Prizes went to "I’m Your Man," written and directed by Keren Ben Rafael and "God’s the One You Need to Tell," written and directed by Elsa Diringer, with "Groove Your Life," written and directed by Vincent Burgevin and Franck Lobon, receiving Jury Special Mention.
Written and directed by Slony Slow, "Winter Frog" won the Audience Choice Short Film Award.
The trailer for "The Intouchables":