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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Lelouch, Costa Gavras, Tavernier at 9th City of Lights

Triumvirate of Acclaimed Film Writer/Directors: Claude Lelouch, Costa-Gavras and Bertrand Tavernier Host Premieres of New Films at 9 annual city of lights, city of angels: a week of french premieres in Los Angels. April 11-17, 2005

“Men And Women,” the latest offering of veteran writer/director Claude Lelouch, will have its world premiere, opening night of City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival (COL•COA) on Monday, April 11, 2005. The west coast premiere of writer/director Bertrand Tavernier’s film, “Holy Lola” will be held on Wednesday, April 13th, and the closing evening film on Saturday, April 16th, is the US premiere of “The Ax” (“Le Couperet”), directed and co-written by Costa-Gavras. All three writer/directors will attend and a Q&A will be held immediately following the screenings of the films.

Additionally, the 9th annual festival will feature nine U.S. Premieres. Six films are first feature films and three have been directed by women. “We are very pleased with the growing importance of COL•COA in Hollywood," stated festival director Claudia Durgnat and programmer François Truffart. “There are a number of additions to the program and truly something for everyone, from thrillers, comedies, dark comedies, adventure, sports, family dramas, short features, a documentary and special events.”

City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival is funded by the Franco American Cultural Fund, a unique collaboration of the Directors Guild of America (DGA); SACEM, France’s Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music; Writers Guild of America, west (WGAwest); the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and with the vital support of L’ARP, France’s Association of Directors and Producers; the Film and TV Department of the French Embassy in Los Angeles and Unifrance.


New to the festival this year is an added day, Sunday, April 17th, that will feature a second screening of the “Audience Choice Award” film shown earlier in the week, as well as a matinee finale screening of a new film, “Just Friends.” Saturday afternoon is devoted to a compilation of all shorts that have screened individually before features during the week, as well as “Crêpes de Ville,” an afternoon sampling of the French dessert staple and a matinee film suitable for teens and parents, “The Last Trapper,”
a wildlife adventure. The feature length documentary, “10th District Court” follows an unprecedented filmed account of Napoleonic law and the French court system at work.

All screenings are in French with English subtitles. Tickets are available for advance purchase online at www.colcoa.com and in person one day only (Saturday, April 2nd), at the Directors Guild of America Theatre, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90046, from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM (cash or checks only), as well as one hour in advance on the day of a particular showing on a first come, first served basis. Ticket prices are $9 for adults, $6 for students and seniors (age 62 and over), American Cinematheque and Muse LACMA members.

Tuesday April 12
7:00 pm - THE LIGHT (L’Équipier)
Drama
Directed by: Philippe Lioret
Written by: Philippe Lioret, Emmanuel Courcol, Christian Sinniger

An epic, dramatic love story set in the rough and peculiar milieu of Ouessant, a remote island off the coast of Brittany, l’Équipier is a film about a close-knit community of lighthouse keepers shattered by the arrival of a stranger.

Starring Sandrine Bonnaire (Vagabond, Under Satan’s Sun, A Judgment in Stone), Philippe Torreton (It All Starts Today, Captain Conan), Grégori Derangère (Bon Voyage), and Emilie Dequenne (Rosetta, Brotherhood of the Wolf), the film was nominated twice for the 2005 César: Philippe Torreton for Best Actor, Nicola Piovani (Life is Beautiful) for Best Score.

Followed by Q&A with co-writer/director Philippe Lioret


Tuesday April 12
7:15pm - THE STORY OF MY LIFE (Mensonges et Trahisons, et Plus Si Affinité…)
Comedy
Directed by: Laurent Tirard
Written by: Laurent Tirard, Grégoire Vigneron

One of the most successful comedies of the year in France, it is the story of Raphaël (Édouard Baer), a frustrated celebrity ghostwriter writing the autobiography of a soccer player while dreaming of being an acclaimed novelist. Clovis Cornillac was awarded the César for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Kevin, a soccer superstar with an enormous ego and a very low IQ. Alice Taglioni (The Barbarian Invasions, Ararat), plays Claire, Kevin’s girlfriend and Raphaël’s former college flame.

“This existential Woody Allenesque comedy is more efficient than Prozac to make you feel better” Cinélive.

Followed by a Q&A with co-writer/director Laurent Tirard

Wednesday April 13
7:00pm - HOLY LOLA
Drama
Directed by: Bertrand Tavernier
Written by: Tiffany Tavernier, Dominique Sampiero, Bertrand Tavernier

Pierre (Jacques Gamblin) and Géraldine (Isabelle Carré) cannot have children. Determined to adopt, they travel to Southeast Asia, where they confront emotional and physical obstacles as they face French and Cambodian authorities, corruption and child trafficking in their quest to adopt a baby.

“A very powerful movie about the total, visceral desire to have a child” Marianne
“A great Tavernier film, full of vitality and humanity” Studio Magazine

Followed by Q&A with co-writer/director Bertrand Tavernier


Wednesday April 13
7:15pm - VENUS & FLEUR
Romantic Comedy
Written and directed by: Emmanuel Mouret

Fleur (Isabelle Pires) is a young and shy Parisian vacationing in the south of France. She meets Venus (Veroushka Knoge), a Russian girl who is just as extraverted and extravagant as Fleur is reserved. Although they have nothing in common, they are both on a quest to meet the ideal man, and they become friends.

The influence of Éric Rohmer is very much present in the images and dialogues of this Claire’s Knee meets My Night at Maud’s vacation romance, starring two charming new actresses.

“This first film is ravishing” Télérama


Thursday April 14
COLCOA.doc

5:30pm - 10TH DISTRICT COURT (10ème Chambre, Instants d’Audience)
Documentary
Directed by: Raymond Depardon

It is forbidden by law to film what goes on behind the doors of a French tribunal. An unprecedented exception was made for award-winning filmmaker and journalist Raymond Depardon, who was allowed to bring his camera crew to film the hearings at the 10th district court in Paris, from May to July 2003. An extraordinary look at the French judicial system, this “citizen documentary” presents twelve stories of ordinary individuals facing a French judge.

It was presented at Cannes hors-compétition in 2004, and was awarded the Gold Plaque for Best Documentary Feature at the 2005 Chicago International Film Festival.


Thursday April 14
7:45pm - THE FIRST TIME I WAS TWENTY (La Première Fois que J’ai Eu 20 Ans)
Comedy/Drama
Written and directed by: Lorraine Lévy
Based on a book by: Susie Morgenstern

Sixteen-year old Hannah (Marilou Berry) lives in the 1960s Parisian Suburbs. Although she is very intelligent, she isn’t very popular with boys. When she is accepted in the high-school jazz-band (her dream come true), she thinks things will get better. However, gender barriers and prejudice seem to be hard to overcome in this all-male environment.

Based on a novel by Susie Morgenstern, an American expatriate, this first film by writer/director Lorraine Levy is the upbeat story of an underdog establishing her place in a hostile environment.

Followed by Q&A with writer/director Lorraine Lévy


Thursday April 14
7:45 pm - MEN AND WOMEN
Comedy/Drama
Directed by: Claude Lelouch
Written by: Claude Lelouch, Pierre Uytterhoeven

Parallel stories are intertwined in this film about love, marriage, success, and death: Massimo (Massimo Ranieri) and Shaa (Maïwenn), two street singers in love, are tragically separated by success; identical twin sisters (Mathilde Seigner) are trying to successfully live apart from one another; Mr. Gorkini (Michel Leeb), a successful, yet uneducated, businessman who sells pizza, seeks happiness in an unlikely marriage with Sabine (Arielle Dombasle), a sophisticated aristocrat.

A classic Lelouch epic, in the vein of Bolero or Les Misérables, Men and Women is, in the words of Lelouch, “the tale of ordinary people to whom extraordinary things happen.” It is a combination of the 1st and 2nd films of a trilogy called Humankind.

Followed by Q&A with co-writer/director Claude Lelouch

Friday April 15
DARK COMEDY NIGHT
5: 45 pm - VICTOIRE
Dark Comedy
Directed by: Stéphanie Murat
Written by: Stéphanie Murat, Gilles Laurent

30-year old Victoire (Sylvie Testud) is bored and annoyed at everyone who surrounds her: her apathetic cleaning lady, her nymphomaniac mother (Mylène Demongeot), her selfish father (Pierre Arditi), racist taxi-drivers, old women and their dogs. Overhearing a conversation in a bar between two hunters, she has an epiphany…

One of the most sought-after actresses in France and Europe, Sylvie Testud (César for Best Actress in 2004) has worked with such acclaimed directors as Chantal Ackerman and Alain Corneau. She delivers a captivating performance in this dark comedy about a very ordinary girl who becomes a serial killer.



Friday April 15
6:00 pm - 36 (36, Quai des Orfèvres)
Film Noir
Directed by: Olivier Marchal
Written by: Olivier Marchal, Franck Mancuso, Julien Rappeneau, with the collaboration of Dominique Loiseau

Léo Vrinks (Daniel Auteuil), head of the Anti-Gang Squad, and Denis Klein (Gérard Depardieu), head of the Organized Crime Unit, work together to arrest a violent gang of armored truck robbers, while competing to replace Robert Mancini (André Dussollier), the retiring Chief of Police.

Influenced by Jean-Perre Melville and the thrillers of Michael Mann, Olivier Marchal revisits the French Film Noir with this adaptation of a true story. The man who inspired the film, Dominique Loiseau, also collaborated on the script.

Awarded the 2005 Jacques Deray award for Best Film Noir of the year, 36 also received 8 César nominations, including Best Director and Best Film of the year.


Friday April 15
8:15 pm - ARSÈNE LUPIN
Action/Adventure
Directed by: Jean-Paul Salomé
Written by: Jean-Paul Salomé, Laurent Vachaud
Based on a book by: Maurice Leblanc

Based on the eponymous character in Maurice Leblanc’s novels, Arsène Lupin (Romain Duris) is a classy “gentleman thief,” operating in the aristocratic circles of fin de siècle Paris. He finds himself caught up in a sordid political intrigue, as he gets involved with the dangerous and seductive Countess of Cagliostro (Kristin Scott Thomas).

With its lavish décor and costumes, special effects and sense of intrigue, Arsène Lupin is a mélange of Harry Potter, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Da Vinci Code. The film was a commercial success in France, attracting both teens and adults.

Followed by Q&A with co-writer/director Jean-Paul Salomé

Friday April 15
DARK COMEDY NIGHT
8:00 pm - AALTRA
Dark Comedy
Written and directed by: Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern

Ben and Gus (Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern), two neighbors who detest each other, are crushed by a tractor during an argument. Paralyzed for life, they decide to travel to Finland in their wheel chairs to find Aaltra, the manufacturer of the tractor.
Featuring a cast of famous Belgians, such as Benoît Poelvoorde (Man Bites Dog) and Noël Godin (pie-thrower extraordinaire), Aaltra pays homage to the films of Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki (who appears in the film). As surreal as a David Lynch film, it is also reminiscent of Wim Wenders. Aaltra is produced by the team who was behind cult-film Man Bites Dog.

“Has all the makings of a Euro cult success, with crossover chances high” Jay Weissberg, Variety.

Friday April 15
DARK COMEDY NIGHT
10:30pm- ATOMIK CIRCUS
Dark Comedy/Fantasy
Directed by: Didier Poiraud, Thierry Poiraud
Written by: Jean-Philippe Dugand, Didier Poiraud, Thierry Poiraud, Vincent Tavier, Marie Garel-Weiss

Stuntman James Bataille (Jason Flemyng) is in love with Concia (Vanessa Paradis), a wannabe country singer. To impress her during the regional fair, he attempts (and fails) a motorcycle stunt, destroying the local bar. As he is incarcerated for 133 years, Concia meets a shady producer, Allan Chiasse (Benoît Poelvoorde). Shortly thereafter, aliens descend on the town...

Written and adapted by the Poiraud brothers from their own comic books, Atomik Circus is a surreal, absurdist tale starring French singer Vanessa Paradis (Girl on the Bridge), Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Benoît Poelvoorde (Man Bites Dog).

“True love, motorcycle daredevils, and alien visitation all find their way into this wildly imaginative fantasy” Mark Deming, All Movie Guide.
“The most inventive duo since Caro and Jeunet” Positif

Saturday April 16
12:00pm - A SHORT AFTERNOON, Special showcase of short films

Backbone Tale - Le Dossier Satchel - Marvelously Grey - Marcel! - Calypso Is Like So - Noodles - L’Ami Y’a Bon - Stricteternum - Same Old Stuff - Alex in Wonderland - Have a Break, Have a Flaubert! - Les Crayons - The Age of Reason - The Crabs’ Revolution - Calicot - Nothing Serious

Saturday April 16
2:30pm - THE LAST TRAPPER (Le Dernier Trappeur)
Wildlife Adventure/Family
Written and directed by Nicolas Vanier

A mix of documentary and fiction, The Last Trapper is the story of Norman Winther and his wife May Loo, who play their own roles in the film. They live in a complete isolation in the Yukon, hunting grizzlies and wolves. The last representatives of a way of life almost instinct, they are uninterested in modern commodities, and determined to remain true to their tradition.

A poetic ode to ecology and the protection of the environment, the majestic landscapes of The Last Trapper were filmed in very harsh conditions, reflecting Nicolas Vanier’s lifetime commitment to the Great North. The Last Trapper was a popular success in France.

“This film is a true hymn to the highlands, to nature and its wild open spaces” Figaro

Saturday April 16
2:30pm- VENUS & FLEUR
Romantic Comedy
Written and directed by: Emmanuel Mouret

Fleur (Isabelle Pires) is a young and shy Parisian vacationing in the south of France. She meets Venus (Veroushka Knoge), a Russian girl who is just as extraverted and extravagant as Fleur is reserved. Although they have nothing in common, they are both on a quest to meet the ideal man, and they become friends.
The influence of Éric Rohmer is very much present in the images and dialogues of this Claire’s Knee meets My Night at Maud’s vacation romance, starring two charming new actresses.

“This first film is ravishing” Télérama
Saturday April 16
4:45pm - ME AND MY SISTER (Les Sœurs Fâchées)
Comedy
Written and directed by: Alexandra Leclère

Martine (Isabelle Huppert) reluctantly agrees to a brief visit from her sister, Louise (Catherine Frot). Martine is a sophisticated, yet jaded, bored and unhappy Parisian, while Louise is provincial, happy, enthusiastic and active. A beautician by trade, Louise has written a novel and has been unexpectedly granted an appointment with a leading publisher in Paris. In three days, the spectacle of her sister’s happiness shatters Martine’s bourgeois universe.

Me and My Sister is Alexandra Leclère’s first feature film, and was inspired by her short film Bouche à Bouche, screened at COLCOA in 2004.

Isabelle Huppert (Loulou, Clean Slate, Madame Bovary, The Piano Teacher) adds a new comic dimension to her acclaimed work in this portrait of two antithetical women, in which she faces Catherine Frot, (The Dinner Game) one of the most successful comic actresses in France.

Saturday April 16
5:00 pm - CHOK-DEE
Action/Drama
Directed by: Xavier Durringer
Written by: Véra Belmont, Xavier Durringer, Dida Diafat, François Greze, Christophe Mordellet
Based on a book by: Dida Diafat

In jail for robbery, Ryan (Dida Diafat) meets Jean (Bernard Giraudeau), a former boxing champion who teaches him Thai Boxing. Ryan goes to Thailand to enroll in a professional boxing school and overcomes numerous obstacles to achieve his dream: to become a World Champion.

Chok-Dee tells the true story of Dida Diafat, a delinquent inner city youth who became a Thai-Boxing World Champion. Dida Diafat co-wrote the script, based on his autobiography, and plays his own role in the film.

“One of the most peculiar and attractive films to come out recently” Le Monde

Followed by a Q&A with co-writer/actor Dida Diafat

Saturday April 16
CLOSING EVENING FILM
7:00 pm - THE AX (Le Couperet)
Thriller
Directed by Costa-Gavras
Written by Costa-Gavras, Jean-Claude Grumberg
Based on a novel by: Donald Westlake

Bruno (José Garcia), a senior executive, is laid off after fifteen years in the company. Three years later, he is still unemployed and he is ready to do anything to find a job and secure his family’s future, including wiping out his “rivals” to get the job he deserves. Costa-Gavras returns to the thriller as a vehicle for his socio-political commentary, an adaptation of a novel by American mystery writer Donald Westlake. Released in France early March, The Ax is already #2 at the Box Office.

“Costa-Gavras happily mixes the rules of Film Noir with an acute analysis of how merciless neo-libéral modernity is” Première

Followed by Q&A with co-writer/director Costa-Gavras

Saturday April 16
7:30 pm - THE STORY OF MY LIFE (Mensonges et Trahisons, et Plus Si Affinité…)
Comedy
Directed by: Laurent Tirard
Written by: Laurent Tirard, Grégoire Vigneron

One of the most successful comedies of the year in France, it is the story of Raphaël (Édouard Baer), a frustrated celebrity ghostwriter writing the autobiography of a soccer player while dreaming of being an acclaimed novelist. Clovis Cornillac was awarded the César for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Kevin, a soccer superstar with an enormous ego and a very low IQ. Alice Taglioni (The Barbarian Invasions, Ararat), plays Claire, Kevin’s girlfriend and Raphaël’s former college flame.

“This existential Woody Allenesque comedy is more efficient than Prozac to make you feel better” Cinélive.

Followed by a Q&A with co-writer/director Laurent Tirard

Sunday April 17

2:00 pm - AUDIENCE CHOICE FILM
This is the re-run of the audience’s best choice, which viewers will vote for throughout the week.

Sunday April 17
MATINEE FINALE
4:30 pm - JUST FRIENDS (Je Préfère qu’On Reste Amis)
Comedy
Written and directed by: Éric Toledano, Olivier Nakache

Claude Mendelbaum (Jean-Paul Rouve) is a middle-aged man, too shy and ordinary to be successful with ladies. After being divorced for two years and without companionship, he realizes he cannot bear it any longer. He embarks on a quest to find the woman, with the help of Serge (Gérard Depardieu), a man who isn’t afraid of anything, even ridicule.

Starring Gérard Depardieu and Jean-Paul Rouve (Podium, A Very Long Engagement), this buddy-movie à la Francis Veber (Dinner Game), reminiscent of 1970s Italian comedies, is the first film by the writer-director team. It was conceived from their vivid memories of the many women who had left them, saying “You are like a brother to me” or “I just want to be friends.”

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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