4 items from 2016
Once dominated by U.S. TV imports, France has now jumped into the golden age of TV in a big way, powered up by France’s top film and television players who have internationalized the local TV drama landscape and turned it into a major growth business.
The drive of France’s top film companies and media groups — notably Gaumont, Studiocanal, Lagardere, Wild Bunch TV, and EuropaCorp — to embark on the production and distribution of high-profile TV drama has allowed for the emergence of upscale French and European shows that cross borders.
“In the last 10 years, the export of French fiction programs has gone up by 100% (to $46 million in 2015), thanks to the rising quality of TV drama as well as the boom of multi-territory streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, local VOD platforms as well as TV and cable channels,” says Mathieu Bejot, managing director of TV France Intl., which »
- Elsa Keslassy
“Bonne Pomme” is written and directed by Florence Quentin, who notably co-wrote the screenplay of three cult French comedies directed by Étienne Chatiliez: “Tatie Danielle,” “Life Is a Long Quiet River” and “Happiness Is in the Field.”
Depardieu stars as Gerard, an affable mechanic who is fed up of his mediocre life and his cheating girlfriend, and decides to quit everything on a whim. Gerard moves to a remote village, but his plans to live a tranquil life are turned upside down »
- Elsa Keslassy
The Colcoa French Film Festival (April 18-26), otherwise known as City of Lights, City of Angels festival, turns 20 this edition with a lineup rich in socially minded films reflecting the turmoils that France has faced in the past year.
The French-language showcase’s opening film, Roschdy Zem’s “Monsieur Chocolat,” a Belle Epoque biopic of Cuban artist Rafael Padilla, will set the tone. The Gaumont pic stars Omar Sy as Padilla, the first celebrated black clown in France and who faced prejudice his entire life, leading to his downfall.
“ ‘Chocolat’ is in line with the rest of the selection, which is meant to initiate Colcoa audiences to a variety of topics that are shaping French society today,” says Francois Truffart, Colcoa programmer and its longtime exec producer/artistic director. “Although it is a period film, ‘Chocolat’ addresses the presence and representation of minorities in the arts, which is a current »
- Elsa Keslassy
The Franco-American Cultural Fund, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has announced the program for the 20th Colcoa French Film Festival that will run April 18-26 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. The festival will showcase a record 70 films and television series - among them 64 in competition for Colcoa Awards - including four World Premieres, seven International Premieres, 19 North American or U.S. Premieres, 17 West Coast Premieres - and 21 new shorts. Colcoa, is now the world's largest event dedicated to French films and television.
"This 20th anniversary deserves a spectacular, strong program that reflects the diversity of French production, as well as the creativity and dynamism of French filmmakers and producers," stated François 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."
"20 years is an achievement for any film festival in Hollywood. This would not have been possible without the commitment of the Franco-American Cultural Fund - a unique partnership of the DGA, the Mpa, la Sacem and the WGA West - creator of the festival in 1996 and supporter of its subsequent development. We also salute French sales companies, official supporters, sponsors, and U.S. distributors, whose loyalty and trust have given the festival its continuing excellence," he added.
Colcoa will open Monday, April 18th with the North American Premiere of "Monsieur Chocolat," a biopic about the first French black clown, co-written by Cyril Gely, Olivier Gorce, Gérard Noiriel, Roschdy Zem, directed by Roschdy Zem, and starring Omar Sy and James Thiérrée. The film will be presented in association with Gaumont, which celebrates its 120th anniversary.
The festival will close its competition on Monday, April 25th with the World Premiere of "Up For Love," the new romantic comedy written and directed by Laurent Tirard, starring Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin and Virginie Efira. "Call My Agent" (Season 1), the most popular French TV series of the year, about a talent agency with actors playing their own roles, will close the Colcoa TV Competition.
Two other TV series, shown for the first time in North America, will be part of the program, presented in association with TV France International and Titrafilm: "The Disappearance," a drama co-written by Marie Deshaires and Catherine Touzet and directed by Charlotte Brändström; and "The Secret of Elise," a supernatural drama written by lsa Marpeau, Marie Vinoy, Marie Deshaires, and Catherine Touzet and directed by Alexandre Laurent, Samir Boitard, Mathieu Simonet, and Mehdi Meskar. The first two episodes of each series will be shown to the Colcoa audience.
To complete the competition, five TV movies will premiere at Colcoa: the North American Premiere of "Borderline," a thriller co-written and directed by Olivier Marchal, the International Premiere of "Carpets and Chaos," a comedy co-written and directed by Nader Takmil Homayoun, the International Premiere of "Stolen Babies," a drama written by Julie Jézéquel and directed by Golden Globe winner Alain Berliner; the International Premiere of "The Wall-Crosser," a fantasy written and directed by Dante Desarthes, based on Marcel Aymé's book; and the North American Premiere of "Woman Under the Influence," a drama written and directed by Claude-Michel Rome.
The feature film selection (40 features and documentaries and 21 shorts), will feature exclusive presentations. "Fanny's Journey," an epic drama written and directed by Lola Doillon, starring Cecile de France, is also a World Premiere. The U.S. Premiere of the thriller "Made in France," written and directed by Nicolas Boukhrief, is a film which did not have theatrical release in France because of sensitivity following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Colcoa also will present the U.S. Premiere of Robert Guédiguian's provocative film about the Armenian genocide, "Don't Tell Me the Boy Was Mad." The U.S. Premiere of Oscar ® winner Claude Lelouch's new film "Un plus Une," starring Jean Dujardin and Elsa Zylberstein, will screen, in addition to another U.S. Premiere of "All Gone South," the comedy sequel co-written and co-directed by Nicolas Benamou and Philippe Lacheau, two years after the success of Babysitting at Colcoa in 2014.
Several established writers/directors return and other known artists have been selected: Academy Award nominee Christian Carion ("Come What May"- with Cohen Media Group), Anne Fontaine ("The Innocents" - with Music Box Films), Vincent Garencq ("Kalinka"), Academy Award nominee Jean-Paul Rappeneau ("Families"), Christian Vincent ("Courted"), Maïwenn ("My King" - with Film Movement)
Every year, the Colcoa program is dedicated to a new generation of talent, many of whose films are included in Colcoa's French NeWave 2.0 Series: Samuel Collardey ("Land Legs"), Clément Cogitor ("Neither Heaven Nor Earth" - with Film Movement), Philippe Faucon - the writer/director of the 2016 César Best film winner ("Fatima" - with Kino Lorber), Emmanuel Finkiel ("A Decent Man"), Eva Husson ("Bang Gang" - with Samuel Goldwyn), Laurent Larivière ("I am a Soldier"), and Orelsan and Christophe Offenstein ("Uncompleted Song").
The After 10 Series at Colcoa invites audiences to explore new frontiers with an exclusive program, including the French-Belgian co-production from writer/director Bouli Lanners ("The First, the Last"), the new dark comedy from Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern, starring Gérard Depardieu ("Saint Amour"), and Frédéric Schoendoerffer ("Past Convoy").
Two anticipated films about women in Muslim countries will be part of theWord Cinema Produced by France Series: the Franco-Moroccan co-production, "Much Loved," written and directed by Nabil Ayouch, premiered at the Director's Fortnight in 2015, and remains banned in Morocco; and, "As I Open My Eyes," a Franco-Tunisian film from female writer/director Leyla Bouzid (with Kino Lorber). The Argentine film, "Eva Doesn't Sleep," written and directed by Pablo Agüero will complete the series.
Two documentaries focusing on significant environmental issues will premiere at Colcoa: the closing film of the last Cannes Film Festival, "Ice and the Sky" (with Music Box Films) from Academy Award winner Luc Jacquet (March of the Penguins), and a special presentation following the United Nations screening of the 2016 Cesar winner for Best Documentary, "Tomorrow," written and directed by Cédric Dion and Mélanie Laurent. "The Frankenstein Complex," a tribute to the creators of big screen creatures, written and directed by Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet, will complete this high profile documentary series.
All other Colcoa series are back in 2016: the Colcoa Classics Series with an exclusive program of digitally restored premieres (see February 19th press release); the Happy Hour Talks PanelSeriesin association withVariety (April 19-25); the Short Film Competition (Sunday, April 24 - March press release); the Focus on a Filmmaker, this year with writer/director Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Thursday, April 21); and the Focus on a Producer will be with Dominique Besnehard (Saturday, April 23).
Animation, an important part of the French film industry, will be shown at Colcoa with the premiere of Rémi Chayé's new film: "Long Way North" (with Shout Factory).
As is Colcoa tradition, comedieswill join the program almost every day, including the romantic comedy "Love at First Child," co-written and directed by Anne Giaffieri, starring Patrick Bruel and Isabelle Carré, Benoît's Graffin's "Hopefully," with Sandrine Kiberlain and Edouard Baer, Jean-Francois Richet's "One Wild Moment," starring Francois Cluzet and Vincent Cassel, and the new French hit "One Man and His Cow," written and directed by Mohamed Hamidi.
This last film will also be shown to the 3,000 students and teachers who will attend the now five High School Screenings (April 19-25) as part of the Colcoa Educational Program presented in association with Elma (European Languages and Movies in America). Two master classes for college and university students will complete the program.
For the ninth year, Lafca will partner with Colcoa Cinema for the Critics' Awards. The complete recipients list of the 2015 Awards - including the U.S. distributor winner of the Colcoa Coming Soon Award, presented in association with Kpcc, will be announced on Wednesday, April 27. Colcoa Awards are presented in association with Titrafilm, TV5 Monde USA, and Air Tahiti Nui. »
- Sydney Levine
4 items from 2016
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