The 23rd annual COLCOA French Film Festival in Los Angeles, taking place September 23-28 at the Directors Guild of America, has landed the U.S. premiere of Amazon Studios’ Oscar contender “Les Misérables” for its opening night. The film directed by Ladj Ly, which won the Jury Prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, will kick off a week of new and classic French-language films for LA audiences.
The event will offer a splashy LA bow for Amazon’s Oscar hopeful in a city packed with Academy voters. France has yet to submit a film for the 2020 Best International Film Oscar, but “Les Misérables” is among the top contenders. Inspired by the riots of 2005 in the suburbs of Paris, Ly’s film revolves around three members of an anti-crime brigade who are overrun while trying to make an arrest.
“This high-profile program includes several films from Cannes and Venice programmed for the first time in the U.S., as well as films presented before their release in France,” stated François Truffart, COLCOA executive producer and artistic director. “It shows the faithfulness of distributors, producers, and sponsors, who strongly believe that COLCOA has become an established event in Hollywood.”
The festival showcases both established and new directors, from Oscar-winning writer/director Costa Gavras with the political thriller “Adults in the Room” to Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne with their new drama YOUNG AHMED, both of which will make their North American premieres at COLCOA. Other highlights include Cédric Klapisch’s “Someone, Somewhere;” Cédric Kahn’s dysfunctional-family portrait “Happy Birthday,” with Catherine Deneuve; and Nicolas Boukhrief’s “Three Days and a Life.”
COLCOA is also teaming with distributors to premiere films such as Netflix’s animated “I Lost My Body,” from Jérémy Clapin; Strand Releasing’s “On a Magical Night” from French favorite Christophe Honoré; Roadside Attractions’ “Cyrano, My Love” from Alexis Michalik; and Kino Lorber’s “The Trouble With You” from Pierre Salvadori.
The COLCOA Classics series will pay tribute to late director/writer Agnès Varda with a special Rialto Pictures presentation of her 1962 must-see “Cleo From 5 to 7,” plus Janus Films restorations of Jean Renoir’s 1932 “Toni” and Jacques Becker’s “Touchez Pas Au Grisbi.”
COLCOA Awards will be distributed by the Franco-American Cultural Films on Sunday, September 29, to entries across three competitions (Cinema, Television, and Shorts). The event is presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund in a partnership with DGA, MPA, SACEM, and WGA West. Head to COLCOA’s website for more on the complete lineup.