City of Lights, City of Angels Fest to Celebrate French Cinema in L.A.

by Brian Brooks

A scene from "Tais-toi" ("Ruby & Quentin"), which will open the 2004 edition of the City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival in Los Angeles. Image provided by the festival.

The eighth annual City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival will open Monday, March 29th with the U.S. premiere of "Tais-toi" ("Ruby & Quentin") at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. Writer-director Francis Veber will join the event, introducing the film and participating in a Q&A session following the screening. This year's City of Lights, City of Angels fest, an annual event spotlighting French films, will be the inaugural year for its new festival director, Claudia Durgnat, who created and produced the Festival of the Five Senses and served as P.R. director for the Montreux Jazz Festival. Also coming on board is Francois Truffart, who was formerly the director of La Cinefondation at the Cannes Film Festival and head of the film department at the French Consulate in Los Angeles. He will now serve as the festival's program director.

Fifteen features are set to screen during the event, which concludes on April 3rdm including the world premiere of Nicolas Boukhrief's noir-style film, "Le Convoyeur" (Cash Truck). Also screening are Jacques Demy's "Peau d'ane" (Donkey Skin), a U.S. premiere, starring Catherine Deneuve and the U.S. premiere of Jan Kounen's comic book adaptation, "Blueberry."

In addition to the slated feature-length films, the festival will also screen a 26-minute documentary short by Cannes Film Festival president Gilles Jacob. The film, which screens daily during the event and is a U.S. premiere, is part of a trilogy narrating the history of the festival, including scenes from the red carpet, the evolution of fashion, and changes in the city of Cannes itself over time.

"The City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival is unique in that it brings the rich tapestry of French filmmaking to the Hollywood community, celebrating artistic similarities and differences at the same time, under one roof," commented DGA president Michael Apted in an event release. "The Directors Guild of America embraces the international spirit of this festival and is very proud to be a partner for the eighth year in a row."

[ For a complete listing of this year's line up, please visit: ]