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“Someone I Loved” and “Welcome” Bookend LA’s COL-COA French Event

"Someone I Loved" and "Welcome" Bookend LA's COL-COA French Event

Fifty films with 30 features and 20 shorts are slated for this year’s City of Lights, City of Angels (COL-COA) series spotlighting French film in Los Angeles, taking place April 20 – 26. Kicking off the 13th annual event is the international premiere of Zabou Breitman’s “Someone I Loved” (Je l’aimais) about a man who consoles his daughter-in-law after her husband leaves her by reflecting on another woman he once fell in love with. The film will be released in France May 5 and stars Daniel Auteuil and Marie-Jose Croze, based on the best-selling novel by Anna Gavalda.

Also slated are three 2009 Cesar-winning films that scooped up high profile nods in the French equivalent of the Academy Awards this year, including “Seraphine,” (seven Cesar including film, actress, and screenplay), “Mesrine: A Film in Two Parts” (best director and actor) and “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life” (most promising actor and actress). Additionally, veteran directors including osta-Gavras (“Eden is West”), Andre Techine (“The Girl on the Train”), Raymond Depardon (“Modern Life),” Christophe Honore (“La Belle Personne”) and an homage to the late Claude Berri (“Tchao Pantin”) are slated in this year’s COL-COA line up. IFC Films’ “La Belle Personne,” Music Box Films’ “Seraphine,” Liberation Entertainment’s “Hello Goodbye,” Magnolia Pictures’ “The Girl from Monaco” and Senator Distribution’s “Mesrine: A Film in Two Parts” are among the U.S. distributors of French titles that will screen during the event, with films screened at the Directors Guild of America off Sunset Blvd.

This year’s program will also feature the work of a number of women writer-directors, including Josiane Balasko (“A French Gigolo”), Caroline Bottaro (“Queen To Play”), Zabou Breitman (“Someone I Loved,” “Beautiful Memories”), Anne Fontaine (“The Girl from Monaco”), Anna Novion (“Grown-ups”) and Claire Simon (“God’s Offices”).

A scene from Philippe Lioret’s COL-COA closing night film, “Welcome.” Image courtesy of COL-COA.

Caroline Bottaro’s first feature “Queen To Play,” starring Sandrine Bonnaire and Kevin Kline, will be presented at COL*COA on the same day as its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday April 25. The event’s competition will close on Sunday April 26, with the North American Premiere of “Welcome,” co-written and directed by Philippe Lioret, which screened in the Panorama selection at the 2009 Berlinale.

The 2009 competition will include the COL-COA Audience award, the COL-COA Critics award in association with the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the COL-COA Short Film award and a newly created COL-COA First Feature award.

“We are delighted with the quality and diversity of French films this year that tell stories appealing to international audiences,” commented festival director Francois Truffart in a statement. “These films cross all genres and once again affirm and validate the recent successes of French cinema around the world and particularly in the U.S.”

[For more information including the event’s full line up, visit their website.]

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