Dispatch from the 20th COLCOA French Film Festival in Los Angeles

Dispatch from the 20th COLCOA French Film Festival in Los Angeles

The COLCOA French Film Festival (April 18 -26), embarked on its 20th anniversary this year with the North American Premiere of the incredible Monsieur Chocolat.  This period piece stars Omar Sy in a lively biopic about Raphael Padilla, who became the most famous black clown in France, while facing bigotry and racism during the Belle Epoque Era.

Preceding Monday’s exciting opening night Premiere at the Director’s Guild in Hollywood, guests were feted with dining treats organized by Club Culinaire French Cuisine, and plenty of French champagne and wines.

This year COLCOA, the world’s largest event dedicated to French films and television, spotlights a programme that’s highly topical– with films on Islamic terrorism (Nicholas Boukhrief’s Made in France, a thriller about the infiltration of a homegrown jihadist cell in Paris), as well as racism (the above-mentioned Monsieur Chocolat).


courtesy of La Boite LLC, Pascal Halim

“This 20th anniversary deserves a spectacular, strong programme that reflects the diversity of French production, as well as the creativity and dynamism of French filmmakers and producers,” stated Francois Truffart, COLCOA Executive Producer and Artistic Director. “More than ever, we are about to involve audiences in a journey that will stir them, make them laugh, cry, tickle their curiosity, and help them remain optimistic, while recognizing the urgent world zeitgeist.”

All other COLCOA series are back in 2016: the COLCOA Classics Series, the Happy Hour Talks Panel Series, the Short Film Competition, and the Focus on a Producer.


courtesy of La Boite LLC/ Charles-Eric Browning

The COLCOA French Film Festival is presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a partnership of the Director’s Guild of America, Motion Picture Association, The Writer’s Guild of America West, The French Society for Authors, Composers and Music Publishers, with the support of the Film and Television office of the French Embassy in Los Angeles, L’ARP, TV France International and Unifrance, as well as 40 sponsors.

The 20-year successful collaboration between French and United States filmmakers underlines the Festival’s theme, “Two Countries, One Passion.”

COLCOA is a great place to enjoy French cinema at its best, to savour French wines, chat with filmmakers, and meet other French film enthusiasts.

The Festival will close with the World Premiere of Laurent Tirard’s Up For Love, a romantic comedy starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin. Call My Agent (Season 1), the most popular French TV series of the year, will close the COLCOA TV competition. I will definitely be up for that!


courtesy of La Boite LLC/ Pascal Halim

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A native of Los Angeles, Barbara is the France Today Ambassador for L.A. She graduated from UCLA with a BA degree in Political Science, and also received her JD degree from UCLA School of Law. While at UCLA, she spent her junior year in Grenoble, France. From that time on, she has been an avid and passionate Francophile. She has visited almost every region in France, and still pursues French language courses in Los Angeles. She has an apartment in Paris and continues to visit France every year.

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