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The Global Film Village: Dueling Film Festivals by Marla Lewin



April 29, 2009  Hollywood


It was not easy choosing between all the wonderful events occurring last week in Hollywood.  French champagne, and chefs opened the COLCOA film festival. The 13th Annual City of Lights, City of Angels, A Week of French Film Premieres in Hollywood. So many wonderful films to choose from.  In case you will not be going to Cannes this year, here was an opportunity to explore the latest in French film.  

Actress Jacqueline Bisset who has played a chef, enjoyed the various foods and wine.  I spoke with her about some of the French films she has made, not all  have had US distribution. She loves the festival, and has attended for many of the thirteen years.  Jacqueline  is really a unique actress of her generation, smart, beautiful, she has continued to work in Hollywood, as well as France, England.  Like a great wine, she continues to grace us with her presence, we discussed possibly following up with an interview to discuss more about her work, after the festival is  over.  She took a photo with Chef Neal Fraser, who co owns Grace restaurant on Beverly Blvd.  We all had a toast, with a glass of 2007 Delas "St-Espit" Cotes du Rhone.

I also spoke with Costa Garvas, and he is happy to be in Los Angeles, and will show his film later in the week.  He and his family have shown their latest films at the festival in previous years, so we plan to cover more of his latest film in another piece later this week.  Actor Robert Forster was also in the crowd. Also seen attending screenings were John Landis, Howard Hesseman, René Auberjonois  and Brenda Vaccaro.  


Executive Director Francois Truffart, opened the evening and announced director Michael Mann who has an upcoming film  Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp.  A large group of feature directors were presented onstage. The opening night feature film was "Someone I Loved." (Shot in Hong Kong, and France by director, Zabou Breitman in a lovely red dress, who announced, she did not plan on matching the curtain. More to come.


Sponsors of the festival, offering a taste of their local delights are: Cafe des Artist, Maison Akira, Grace, Frenchy's Bistro, Amour Bouch, and Emil's Swiss Bakery.  I can't wait to try them all for a full meal based on their teasing appetizers here.


The 13th COLCOA Festival awarded the top prize by the jury of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association to “Eden is West,” co-written and directed by Costa-Gavras.


LAFCA jury’s Special Prize went to “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life,” written and directed by Rémi Bezançon.  The COLCOA Audience Award went to another immigration themed film “Welcome,” co-written and directed by Philippe Lioret. “Baby Love,” written and directed by Vincent Garenq, garnered both the COLCOA First Feature and Audience special prize awards.  


Meanwhile at the Arclight Theatre in Hollywood the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles kicked off on Tuesday with screenings and a Gala Party complete with fabulous Indian food for the guests to enjoy. In the year in which Slumdog Millionaire won the academy award, Indian films and filmmakers have much to celebrate.  


Many of the films this year at both festivals are directed by women.


The seventh annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles announced its 2009 Award winners. The Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature  was given to Nina Paley's SITA SINGS THE BLUES and Nandita Das's FIRAAQ receiving an Honorable Mention in the category. The winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary was Rajesh Jala's CHILDREN OF THE PYRE. Dipti Gogna’s NARMEEN won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short with Sushrut Jain’s ANDHERI receiving an Honorable Mention. 


Audience Choice Awards went to Sooni Taraporevala's LITTLE ZIZOU for Narrative, Faiza Ahmad Khan’s SUPERMEN OF MALEGAON for Documentary and Gregg Helvey’s KAVI for the Short Film category. 


Comments (1)

Fitting of your experience


Another great piece of writing and coverage. I'm the one with the Journalism degree, you, the experience to write it.


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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.


Los Angeles

United States

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