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COLCOA - Film Festival Apr 18-25



COLCOA 2016 FILM NOTES

See Web site for Schedule

http://www.colcoa.org/

FILM NOTES - in chronological order

MONDAY, APRIL 18

MONSIEUR CHOCOLAT / Chocolat

North American Premiere • Drama • France, 2016

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 110 min

Directed by: Roschdy Zem

Written by: Cyril Gely, Olivier Gorce, Gérard Noiriel, Roschdy Zem

Cinematography: Thomas Letellier

Film Editing: Monica Coleman

Original Score: Gabriel Yared

Produced by: Éric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer (Mandarin Films)

Cast: Omar Sy (Chocolat), James Thiérrée (Footit), Clotilde Hesme (Marie), Olivier Gourmet (Oller), Frédéric Pierrot (Delvaux), Noémie Lvovsky (Mme Delvaux), Alice de Lencquesaing (Camille), Olivier Rabourdin (Gemier)

 

International Sales: Gaumont • gaumont.fr

The 20th Anniversary of COLCOA celebrates its opening night with a lavish and lively biopic set in the Belle Époque worlds of circus and music halls. Omar Sy effortlessly juggles comedy and compassion as Raphael Padilla, a.k.a. Chocolat, the first black star of the French stage. Born a slave in Cuba, Padilla makes his way to a rag-tag circus in Europe, where he plays a tooth-baring cannibal named Kalanka for provincial rubes who've never seen a black man before. Impressed with Padilla's agility, George Footit partners up with him and they develop a clown act that catapults them to fame and fortune - more or less, since Footit, the white man in the partnership, takes most of the fortune. Success is bittersweet for Chocolat, who stays positive despite the fact that his act consists of mocking his own race to the delight of French audiences. But when he tries to step outside the character society wants him to play, those delighted audiences vanish in droves. Monsieur Chocolat revives the legend of a trailblazing artist whom history has all but forgotten.

The fourth film of writer/director Roschdy Zem is his first period piece, and his most ambitious effort yet. Most people will know Zem for a diverse acting career that has spanned nearly three decades. He brings that same versatility to directing, ranging from his cross-cultural comedy Bad Faith (COLCOA 2007), to the crime drama Omar Killed Me (2011) to the family drama Bodybuilder (2014). This project was first proposed to Zem by producers Éric and Nicolas Altmayer, who had a Cyril Gely script based on a theater piece and subsequent book by historian Gérard Noiriel. For the final adaptation Zem brought in his Omar Killed Me collaborator Oliver Gorce. For the role of Footit, Zem cast Charlie Chaplin's grandson James Thiérrée, an accomplished acrobat and juggler who designed and choreographed the circus numbers.

QUOTES:

"Monsieur Chocolat has all the elements of a great film."

- Judith Prescott, French Cinema Review

"Sy does a fantastic job channeling the spirit of a man caught between his desire to be rich and free and the gradual recognition that he's still only someone else's whipping boy."

- Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter

TUESDAY, APRIL 19

 

MORE

North American Premiere (digitally restored version) • Drama • France, West Germany, 1969

DCP • 1.66 • Mono • Color • 112 min

Directed by: Barbet Schroeder

Written by: Eugène Archer (dialogue), Mimsy Farmer (dialogue), Paul Gardner (dialogue), Paul Gégauff, Barbet Schroeder

Cinematography: Néstor Almendros

Film Editing: Denise de Casabianca, Rita Roland

Original Score: "Pink Floyd": David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright

Produced by: Jet Films, Les Films du Losange

Cast: Mimsy Farmer (Estelle Miller), Klaus Grünberg (Stefan Brückner), Heinz Engelmann (Dr. Ernesto Wolf)

US Distributor: Janus Films • janusfilms.com

COLCOA is pleased to present the North American premiere of the restored version of More. Causing a commotion in Cannes and initially banned in France, Barbet Schroeder's debut feature recasts the myth of Icarus as a cautionary tale of free love and drug addiction in the shadow of the May '68 Paris uprising. Fresh out of college, Stefan hitchhikes to Paris seeking to burn all his bridges and find the warmth of the sun. He is quickly pulled into the orbit of Estelle, an expat American exuding an irresistible white heat of sexual promise. Stefan's pursuit of the kinky, free-spirited Estelle - perfectly embodied by actress Mimsy Farmer, whose cult following owes more to her leads in Dario Argento Giallo Films - takes him south to the hippie mecca of Ibiza. Despite Estelle's questionable ties to a shifty German "ex-Nazi," Stefan finds a small house by the sea where the two disappear into a private idyll of sex, sun and drugs to the rhythms of Pink Floyd's mercurial soundtrack, until Stefan discovers her true weakness, and makes a tragic decision.

Unlike its more idealistic 1969 counterpart, Easy Rider, More doesn't try to bring the viewer into the subjective experience of drug use. Instead writer/director/producer Barbet Schroeder, borrowing Eric Rohmer's brilliant cinematographer Néstor Almendros, brought a detached gaze to the proceedings. The camera here is steady, as remorseless as the Spanish sun. The film's darker take on the counterculture movement was controversial at the time, but in light of the disillusionment that came in the '70's, it now seems prescient. From here, Schroeder would go on to a diverse directing career, from the European arthouse Maîtresse (1976) to more American fare such as Barfly (1987) and Single White Female (1992). He earned a reputation in Hollywood for thrillers like Desperate Measures (1998) and Murder By Numbers (2002). With his 2015 film Amnesia, Schroeder returned to the island of Ibiza, where, perhaps not so incidentally, he lived as a child.

QUOTES:

"It's 19th-century romance set to a rock tune on a portable cassette tape recorder."

 - Vincent Canby, New York Times

 "More stands today as a visually true time capsule summary of the end of the hippie dream."

- Black Gloves, Horrorview

ICE AND THE SKY / La Glace et le ciel

Los Angeles Premiere • Documentary • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color/B&W • 90 min

Directed by: Luc Jacquet

Written by: Luc Jacquet

Cinematography: Stéphane Martin

Film Editing: Stéphane Mazalaigue

Original Score: Cyrille Aufort

Produced by: Richard Grandpierre (Eskwad)

Cast: Claude Lorius (Himself), Michel Papineschi (Narrator), Jacques-Yves Cousteau (Himself)

 

International Sales: Wild Bunch

US Distributor: Music Box Films • musicboxfilms.com

The writer/director of the Oscar-winning March of the Penguins is back, this time with a documentary suggesting that penguins should be very afraid, and they're not the only ones. Part biography, part call-to-arms, this spectacular documentary celebrates the remarkable adventures and scientific discoveries of French polar explorer and glaciologist Claude Lorius.  Sixty years ago, Lorius answered an ad that would take him on such a long expedition in remote Antarctica that his appendix and wisdom teeth had to be removed just as a precaution. Rare and stunning archival footage captures the hardships and wonders of his more than twenty expeditions since then. During these expeditions, Lorius conducted experiments that, for the first time, revealed to the world the cold hard facts about climate change. For Lorius, a man who literally risked his life in the quest for knowledge, it's the climate change deniers who are walking on thin ice.

In 2005 Luc Jacquet charmed audiences all over the world with his smash hit documentary March of the Penguins. Taking home the Best Documentary Oscar® was an auspicious beginning to a career that happened almost by accident. With a background in animal biology and ecology, Jacquet took part in a research project in Antarctica. Although he had never used a camera before, part of his duties was to film the penguins. Since that time, he has always sought out subjects that bring together his love for nature and his fascination for film. His fiction feature, The Fox & the Child (2007) wove striking animal footage into a fairytale narrative. With his feature length doc, Once Upon a Forest (2013), Jacquet deployed breathtaking visuals to the world's rainforests to reveal the secret life of trees. Ice and the Sky was selected as the closing film of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

QUOTES:

"...at once heartwarming, breathtaking and downright chilling."

- Nicola Davis, The Guardian

"...an ode to the spirit of exploration and adventure."

- Rob Aldam, Back Seat Mafia

"...a stirring, humanist portrait of a scientist dedicated to understanding and protecting the uncharted Antarctic."

- Sean Gallen, The Upcoming

COME WHAT MAY / En mai, fais ce qu'il te plaît

West Coast Premiere • Drama, History • France, 2015

DCP • 2.40 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 114 min

Directed by: Christian Carion

Written by: Andrew Bampfield, Christian Carion, Laure Irrmann

Cinematography: Pierre Cottereau

Film Editing: Laure Gardette

Original Score: Ennio Morricone

Produced by: Christophe Roussignon (Nord-Ouest Films)

Cast: August Diehl (Hans), Olivier Gourmet (Paul), Mathilde Seigner (Mado), Alice Isaaz (Suzanne), Matthew Rhys (Percy)

 

International Sales: Pathé Distribution

US Distributor: Cohen Media Group cohenmedia.net

War films tend to tell stories about political leaders, or the soldiers who carry out their orders. Come What May examines the effects of war on more ordinary citizens, a timely subject in the midst of the Syrian refugee crisis. It's 1940; German Panzers are smashing through the Ardennes forest on their way to France. Eight million people flee - the largest exodus in modern history. Among them are Paul, the mayor of a small village, and Suzanne, a young schoolteacher and surrogate mother to Max, a displaced German boy. They organize the charge to abandon the town and head for the safety of the coast. It's a heavy decision, because taking their caravan on the open roads leaves them defenseless against German attack. At the same time, Max's father Hans, who fled the Nazi regime and was subsequently imprisoned in France, sets out to look for his son, accompanied by Scottish soldier Percy ( The Americans star Matthew Rhys), who hopes to repatriate a set of bagpipes with the retreating British army. An intimate story, told on an epic scale, and with an expansive score by the maestro of film music, Academy Award winner Ennio Morricone.

Known for making historical tapestries based on true stories, writer/director Christian Carion stepped onto the international stage with his feel-good WWI film Joyeux Noel (2005), in which soldiers in the trenches lay down their arms for one day to celebrate Christmas with the enemy. His gripping thriller Farewell (COLCOA 2010), went back to the Cold War and featured filmmakers Emir Kusturica and Guillaume Canet as spies passing Soviet secrets to the West. Carion was born into a farming family and initially went in that direction professionally. After meeting fellow film enthusiast Christophe Rossignon, now a prominent producer, the two of them decided to dedicate their lives to filmmaking. Co-writer Andrew Bampfield is an established writer for French TV, known for Inside The Twin Towers (2006). This is the first writing credit for co-writer Laure Irrmann.

MADE IN FRANCE

North American Premiere • Drama, Thriller • France, 2015

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby SRD • Color • 94 min

Directed by: Nicolas Boukhrief

Written by: Éric Besnard, Nicolas Boukhrief

Cinematography: Patrick Ghiringhelli

Film Editing: Lydia Decobert

Original Score: Robin Coudert

Produced by: Clément Miserez Radar Films

Cast: Malik Zidi (Sam), Dimitri Storoge (Hassan), François Civil (Christophe), Nassim Si Ahmed (Driss)

 

International Sales: WTFilms

 

This darkly atmospheric shock-thriller takes you on a white-knuckle ride inside a cell of homegrown extremists dedicated to bringing jihad to the streets of Paris. Sam is a Franco-Algerian journalist hoping to write a tell-all exposing the threat of domestic terrorism. Using his knowledge of Islam, he infiltrates a small cadre of extremists led by Hassan, a disgruntled shoe salesman whose chief leadership credential is having met "the principals" on his pilgrimage to Mecca. Hassan instructs everyone to "become invisible." From the outside, it all appears frighteningly ordinary, except for Sam, who is now in the precarious position of a normal guy trying to look like an extremist trying to look normal. Sam discovers that the cell is comprised of young men who, far from marching in lockstep, have wildly different motivations. But as the plan moves closer to fruition, suspicion grips the conspirators, putting more than his book in immediate danger.

When writer/director Nicolas Boukhrief and his co-writer Éric Besnard ( Babylon A.D.) began to research this subject, their principal reference was the Paris commuter train bombing in 1995.  They had no way of knowing just how prophetic the film would be, nor how much its commercial life would suffer for it. Slated initially for release in early 2015, the devastating attack on Charlie Hebdo gave the original distributor cold feet. Then the tragic Bataclan attack, coming just one week before the film's new release date, led to a second cancellation. For Boukhrief, a genre specialist, the film was conceived firstly as entertainment, but its subject matter struck raw nerves in France. Known for crime dramas like Cash Truck (COLCOA 2004), Cortex (2008), and Sphinx (COLCOA 2010), Boukhrief began his career as a journalist, first as an editor for the genre film magazine Starfix, then creating the Canal + series Le Journal du cinéma, which aired for more than a decade. His transition to filmmaking began in 1993, when he co-wrote Tout le monde n'a pas eu la chance d'avoir des parents communistes with director/co-writer Jean-Jacques Zilbermann.

QUOTES:

"...a thoughtful and sobering 'what if' scenario of home-grown, domestically targeted terrorism."

- Peter Debruge, Variety

"This unpleasant feeling to have in front of you a monster hidden under the usual mask is the great artistic success of Made in France."

- Thomas Coispel, Le Blog Du Cinema

THE FIRST, THE LAST / Les Premiers, les Derniers

North American Premiere • Comedy/Crime/Romance • France, 2016

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 98 min

Directed by: Bouli Lanners

Written by: Bouli Lanners

Cinematography: Jean-Paul De Zaeytijd

Film Editing: Ewin Ryckaert

Original Score: Pascal Humbert

Produced by: ADCB Films, Prime Time, VOO, BE TV, RTBF, Versus Production

Cast: Albert Dupontel (Cochise), Bouli Lanners (Gilou), Suzanne Clément (Clara), Michael Lonsdale (Jean-Berchmans)

 

International Sales: Wild Bunch

Elements of the western and the gothic thriller come together in this darkly absurd conceptual one-off. Set amidst the industrial ruins of a flatland vast enough to swallow men whole, Cochise and Gilou, a pair of grizzled bounty hunters, have been hired by a wealthy stranger to obtain a phone that holds some critical information. The phone is in the possession of Esther and Willy, a homeless young couple. Whenever they turn the phone on, Cochise and Gilou can get a lead on their whereabouts, but the feckless lovers don't have much need for phones. They believe the end-times have begun, an unlikely proposition seemingly corroborated by the appearance of a gaunt, bearded man calling himself Jesus. As the chase develops, straightforward genre elements give way to more metaphorical and thematic concerns. In this singular and deeply personal universe, everyone, including a craggy undertaker played by Max Von Sydow, seems uprooted, set adrift in his/her own way.

It's perhaps no coincidence that the fourth feature of Belgian actor/writer/director Bouli Lanners has a painterly look- Lanners' first calling was to fine arts and painting, although it was as an actor that Lanners found the success that opened doors for him. Over the last two decades, he has established himself as a character actor in dozens of films. In 2006 he made his first feature Ultranova, followed by Eldorado (2008), which took the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes' Director's Fortnight. A road movie about a heroin addict and a lonely car dealer who end up unlikely companions, the film was Lanners' first to draw visual inspiration from the Western canon. Lanners' third film, the Belgium-set, coming-of-age comedy, The Giants (2011), won the SACD Prize at Cannes. Throughout his directing career, Lanners has nurtured a creative collaboration with cinematographer Jean-Paul de Zaetijd, making for films that recall Lanners' underpinnings as a painter. In fact it was a single image, glimpsed from a passing train that planted the seed for this film. The First, The Last took its international bow in the Panorama section of the 2016 Berlin Film Festival.         

QUOTES:

"Film aficionados will definitely want to catch this any way they can."

-  Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter

"...the direction is near faultless. Creating an atmosphere deeply ominous and unnerving."

- Thomas Unsted, The Upcoming

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20

MARIUS

International Premiere (restored version) • Drama • France 1931 

DCP • 1.20 • Mono  • Black & White • 130 min

Directed by: Alexander Korda

Written by: Marcel Pagnol

Cinematography: Theodore J. Pahle

Film Editing: Roger Spiri-Mercanton

Original Score: Francis Gromon

Produced by: Marcel Pagnol (Les Films Marcel Pagnol), Paramount France

Cast: Raimu (César Olivier), Pierre Fresnay (Marius), Orane Demazis (Fanny), Fernand Charpin (Honoré Panisse), Alida Rouffe (Honorine Cabanis), Paul Dullac (Félix Escartefigue), Alexandre Mihalesco (Piquoiseau)

 

International Sales: CMF-MPC

 

COLCOA is pleased to celebrate a cornerstone of early French cinema with a special screening of this Alexander Korda masterpiece, restored to its original glory by the Cinematheque Francaise and the Franco-American Cultural Fund. Marcel Pagnol's original play was a monstrous stage hit. With the arrival of sound cinema, Pagnol seized the opportunity to adapt it to film. Marius, the first installment of what would come to be known as the Marseille Trilogy, is set in the colorful Old Port of Marseille, where ordinary but lovable characters are coping with everyday problems. There's Marius, a humble barkeep who is torn between his wanderlust for exotic ports of call and his unspoken love for Fanny, the fishmonger's beautiful daughter, who harbors a secret love of her own. There's Marius' father César, whose generosity of spirit is overruled by his tendency to interfere. Then there's Panisse, the aging widower with no heir, whose intention to wed Fanny and make a son to take over his sail manufacturing business sends ripples up and down the port.

Director Alexander Korda was a Hungarian refugee who eventually made his career in London after stints in Hollywood and Paris. His The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) received a best picture nomination and won a Best Actor Oscar for Charles Laughton. The first British film producer to be knighted, Korda gave early support to such talents as Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Laurence Olivier, David Lean, and Carol Reed.

Writer/producer Marcel Pagnol's creative signature is fully recognized in Marius, in which he unapologetically pushed dialogue to the front and center of his narrative style.  An early champion of sound, Pagnol stood firm against the likes of men like René Clair.  His love of simple characters, and provincial life in southern France foreshadowed neo-realism. Although the Marseille Trilogy began as theater, the final installment, César (1936), was written directly as a screenplay for Pagnol to direct. Its popularity gave Pagnol the means to establish his own film production company. Ever the renaissance man, Pagnol had successful parallel careers as journalist, publisher, and author, notably of Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring, which he also adapted to film in 1953.

 

QUOTES:

"[Marius] helped to position the auteur at the heart of French cinema. Its impact can be felt today, in the unusually high proportion of naturalistic dramas that come out of France each year, many of which tackle the very same issues."

- James Travers, Films De France

"...special credit goes to Raimu, an extraordinary artist who almost literally exposes his very soul up on the screen."

- Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

AS I OPEN MY EYES / A peine j'ouvre les yeux

West Coast Premiere • Drama • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 102 min

Directed by: Leyla Bouzid

Written by: Leyla Bouzid, Marie-Sophie Chambon

Cinematography: Antoine Marteau

Film Editing: Lilian Corbeille

Original Score: Khyam Allami

Produced by: Blue Monday Productions

Cast: Baya Medhaffer (Farah), Ghalia Benali (Hayet), Montassar Ayari (Bohrène)

International Sales: Doc & Film International

U.S. distributor: Kino Lorber • kinolorber.com

It's the summer of 2010, the eve of the Arab Spring. Tunisia heaves under the ever-watchful regime of dictator Ben Ali; revolution is in the air. Exuberantly breathing in that air is Farah, a bright high school grad eager to explore the fresh possibilities of young adulthood. Her mother, Hayet (renowned singer Ghalia Benali), is pressuring her to go to medical school, but Farah has more intriguing offers. She's the singer in an underground band, and dabbling in matters of love and sex with fellow musician, Bohrene. Farah's fearless feminist stance and the band's lyrics challenge the status quo, so when Hayet receives a warning from an old friend in the Interior Ministry, she is determined to make Farah understand the very real dangers of her growing political convictions. A bittersweet coming of age drama, not only for its impetuous protagonist, but also for Tunisia, a country coming of age after its own rebellious spree ended without the freedoms that many of its youthful protesters had hoped for.

After taking top honors at the 2015 Dubai International Film Festival, this French-Tunisian co-production from writer/director Leyla Bouzid went on to receive the Label Europa Cinemas prize at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Tunisian born Bouzid studied film at La Fémis in Paris. After a few short films, she turned her attention to Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution, a rich source of inspiration for her debut feature. From this starting point, Bouzid and her French co-screenwriter Marie-Sophie Chambon were able to create a complex mother-daughter relationship that mirrors the social forces at play in the country as a whole. Music was another critical component in the film, so Bouzid enlisted Iraqi musician/composer Khyam Allami to write the band's songs.

QUOTES:

"A film with heart and passion, one that can color one's dreams and inspire one's days."

- E. Nina Rothe, Huffington Post

"...skillfully conjures the pressure-cooker atmosphere lying just below Tunisia's surface during the waning days of the dictatorship."

- Jay Weissberg, Variety

LOVE AT FIRST CHILD / Ange et Gabrielle

U.S. Premiere • Romantic Comedy • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby Digital • Color • 91 min

Directed by: Anne Giaffieri

Written by: Anne Giafferi, Anne Le Ny

Based on a play by: Murielle Magellan

Cinematography: Stéphane Cami

Film Editing: Christine Lucas, Navarro

Original Score: Jean-Michel Bernard

Produced by: Marc Olla (Palazzo Films), Benoît Jaubert (Benji Films)

Cast: Isabelle Carré (Gabrielle), Patrick Bruel (Ange), Alice de Lencquesaing (Claire), Thomas Solivéres (Simon), Laurent Stocker (Guillaume)

 

International Sales: TF1 International • tf1international.com

Single parenting, unwanted pregnancy and empty-nest syndrome trip each other up in this fizzy rom-com. Seventeen year-old Claire is pregnant, and the father Simon, himself a young student, is too overwhelmed by the prospect of fatherhood to accept responsibility. Claire's mother, Gabrielle, raised Claire without a father, and she refuses to accept the same fate for her daughter. Taking the matter in hand, Gabrielle hunts down Simon's father Ange (Patrick Bruel), hoping that he will be sensible and convince Simon to get up on the whole parenting trip. Much to her chagrin, Ange turns out to be a fifty-something, club-hopping, skirt-chasing, inveterate bachelor who wants no part of Gabrielle's little plan. What Gabrielle finds even more vexing is that on top of all this, he has the gall to be charming.

Writer/director Anne Giaffieri's first feature, Qui a envie d'être aimé? (2010), was about a man with a dysfunctional family who re-discovers faith,  adapted from a novel by Giaffieri's husband, Thierry Bizot.  For this, her sophomore effort, Giaffieri wanted to go in a more purely comic direction. Collaborating on the screenplay with Intouchables (COLCOA 2012) actress/writer Anne Le Ny, she adapted Muriel Magellan's comedic play L'Eveil du Chameau. Giaffieri's first breakthrough came in another collaboration with Magellan, the 2006 television mini-series adaptation of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot's Christmas.  That success led to two long-running television series, Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie and the more recent hit, Fais pas ci, fais pas ça.  Directing two episodes of that show gave her a taste for more. She has directed two TV, movies, in addition to her work on the big screen.

QUOTES:

"...done with such brio and pizzazz it's impossible not to be swept along by its charm."

- Judith Prescott, French Cinema Review

MUCH LOVED

West Coast Premiere • Drama • France, 2015                              

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 104 min

Directed by: Nabil Ayouch

Writt
en by
: Nabil Ayouch

Cinematography: Virginie Surdej

Film Editing: Damien Keyeux

Original Score: Mike Kourtzer

Produced by: Nabil Ayouch, Saïd Hamich, Eric Poulet

Cast: Loubna Abidar (Noha), Asmaa Lazrak (Randa), Halima Karaouane (Soukaina)

 

International Sales: Celluloid Dreams

Following its unveiling at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, this glossy, Marrakech-based drama about women making ends meet by selling their bodies has been banned in Morocco and cast members have been attacked on the streets. Loubna Abidar is magnetic as Noha, who at 28, is the matriarch of a group of upscale call girls who live together as a family of sorts. Case-hardened by life, Noha's only vulnerability is her judgmental mother. Soukaina, on the other hand, still harbors romantic sentiments for a penniless suitor who can only observe the object of his affection from a distance. Randa, the youngest and most modern, could learn a lot from Noha, if only her growing attraction to women weren't eroding the mentorship. We follow their precarious lives as they negotiate the hypocritical macho posturing, the sexual repression, and the deeply entrenched double standards that mark Moroccan society, and perhaps by extension, much of the Arab world.

Writer/director Nabil Ayouch is known for pointed social dramas that focus on characters driven to desperation by poverty and victimization. While films like A Minute of Sun Less (2002), which depicted homosexual sex, have served to start conversations, they have also landed him in direct conflict with the more conservative elements of the Moroccan state. His 2012 film Horses of God took a hard look at the 2003 Casablanca suicide bombers as a harbinger for the rising phenomena of terrorism fueled by poverty and social alienation. After that, Ayouch decided to look into prostitution as another form of violence visited upon the underprivileged. Much Loved was the product of 18 months of research, including personal interviews with more than 200 sex workers.  Initially conceived as a documentary, it evolved into what Ayouch calls a "fiction du reel". Born in Paris to a Moroccan father and a Tunisian mother, Ayouch was raised in France.  In response to the ongoing ban on his film, more than 80 French producers and filmmakers have signed a petition in support.

QUOTES:

"...an enticing and uncompromising insight into a sordid and brutal underworld."

- Harriet Clugston, London Film Festival

"The cast's remarkable bravery cannot be overstated, and the actresses are potent conveyors of the film's message countering the establishment's pietism."

- Jay Weissberg, Variety

"Ayouch has a hypnotic ability to immerse the viewer in scenes."

- Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

COURTED / L'Hermine

West Coast Premiere • Drama • France, 2015

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby • Color • 98 min

Directed by: Christian Vincent

Written by: Christian Vincent

Cinematography: Laurent Dailland

Film Editing: Yves Deschamps

Original Score: Claire Denamur

Produced by: Matthieu Tarot (Albertine Productions)

Cast: Fabrice Luchini (Michel Racine), Sidse Babett Knudsen (Ditte Lorensen-Coteret), Eva Lallier (Ann Lorensen-Coteret), Corinne Masiero (Marie-Jeanne Metzer), Sophie-Marie Larrouy (Coralie Marciano)

International Sales: Gaumont • gaumont.fr

 

Best Actor prize at the 2015 Venice International Film Festival went to Fabrice Luchini for his portrayal of Michel Racine, a cranky, straight-laced judge presiding over a sobering murder case, while dealing with a divorce on the home front, and a pesky flu. As demanding as all of that is, Michel's world skids to a halt when a randomly chosen juror turns out to be someone from his past. Ditte, played by Borgen star Sidse Babett Knudsen, is a caring single mother who made an indelible impression on Michel six years earlier. Michel, whose reputation for severity has earned him a nickname reflecting the double-digit sentences he likes to hand down, tosses his beloved protocol aside for a series of assignations to explore their mutual attraction. While nodding to courtroom drama and rom-com, Courted conscientiously dodges the clichés of both genres.

Known for his skill with intimate drama, such as the Isabelle Huppert and Daniel Auteuil starrer, La separation (1994), and for studied social critiques like Save Me (2000), writer/director Christian Vincent is equally adept with comedy, as he demonstrated with his Ernst Lubitsch-styled hit Quatres étoiles (2006). Stateside, many will know him from his previous hit, Haute Cuisine (COLCOA 2013). Vincent first gained attention with his feature La Discrète (1991).  Adding to the acclaim the film received from the César Awards, including Best Debut Feature, was a Best Actor nomination for the film's lead, Fabrice Luchini.  Early on, Vincent was compared to filmmaking legend Eric Rohmer with his explorations of the incivility lurking in the nuances of so-called civil society. But it is foremost to Jean Renoir's Rules Of The Game that Vincent claims creative lineage. In addition to the Best Actor prize, the 2015 Venice International Film Festival awarded Vincent a Best Screenplay honor.

QUOTES:

"...brings together two worlds with finesse and sensitivity, offering enough depth to make the story passionate and moving."

- Geoffrey Crété, CineMan

"...honed to melancholic comic perfection."

- Guy Lodge, Variety

EVA DOESN't SLEEP / Eva ne dort pas

Los Angeles Premiere • Drama • France, Argentina 2016

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 85 min

Directed by: Pablo Agüero

Written by: Pablo Agüero

Cinematography: Ivan Gierasinchuk

Film Editing: Stéphane Elmadjian

Original Score: Valentin Portron

Produced by: Jacques Bidou, Marianne Dumoulin (JBA Production), Canana Films, Haddock Films, Tornasol Films

Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal (Massera), Denis Lavant (Koenig), Sabrina Machi (Eva), Imanol Arias (Dr Ara)

 

International Sales: Pyramide International  • pyramidefilms.com

Part hagiography, part ghost story, this visionary drama featuring Gael García Bernal and Denis Lavant chronicles the epic 25 year journey of a corpse. Not just any corpse, mind you, but that of the beloved champion of working-class Argentines, Eva Perón, whose tragic death at the age of 33 prompted a spectacle of public grief that lasted for weeks. Fetishized in death, the bizarre-but-true fate of Perón's cadaver becomes a metaphor for a nation haunted by a broken dream of social justice and unity. Told in elliptical chapters, we meet the official state embalmer whose task to prepare his "masterpiece" for permanent public display leads to some rather unnervingly intimate situations. Then there's a pair of soldiers whose mission to smuggle the "Sleeping Beauty" out of the country gets sidetracked by certain, less respectful preoccupations. Like a piece of stolen art, her mystique grows, until the new military junta decides to put a dead person at the top of the list of people to be permanently disappeared.

Four years of historical research went into the making of this, the third feature of writer/director Pablo Agüero. His previous work, First Snow (winner of the Best Short Film prize at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival), and features Salamandra (2008), and 77 Doronship (2009), all displayed the Argentine filmmaker's experimental bravura and knack for mining the absurd from the seemingly ordinary. With Eva Doesn't Sleep, Agüero aims for a wider audience while retaining his surrealist touch. The film's principal producing partner, France's JBA Productions, is a boutique production house with over 50 titles from filmmakers across the world. Agüero initially saw actress Sabrina Machi, who plays Eva, in the casting process for another character. After giving her the lead role, she underwent special training to control involuntary movements, including swallowing, eyelid movement, and breathing.

Quotes:

"...further cements the Argentinean auteur as a vital voice in the cinematic landscape."

- Robert Bell, Exclaim

"...a singular and wonderfully creepy work."

- Ben Nicholson, CineVue

"Bold and original, and boasting brilliant set pieces."

- Diana Sanchez, TIFF

THURSDAY, APRIL 21

A MATTER OF RESISTANCE / La Vie de château

World Premiere (restored version) • Comedy/Romance • France, 1966

DCP • 1.66 • Mono • B&W • 93 min

Directed by: Jean-Paul Rappeneau

Written by: Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Alain Cavalier, Claude Sautet, Daniel Boulanger

Cinematography: Pierre Lhomme

Film Editing: Pierre Gillette

Original Score: Michel Legrand

Produced by: Ancinex, Cobela Films, Les Productions de la Guéville

Cast: Catherine Deneuve (Marie), Claude Brasseur (Dimanche), Philippe Noiret (Jérôme), Henri Garcin (Julien)

 

International Sales: TF1 International • tf1international.com

The setting for this classic farce is a tumbledown country estate in Normandy, 1944, shortly before D-Day. Young Catherine Deneuve plays Marie, a fitfully bored lady of the house taken to wistful dreams of an exciting life in Paris, and exalted flirtations with some of the hunkier locals. Her husband, Jérôme, is a meek fusspot 20 years her senior, preoccupied with his apple orchards and placating his taskmistress mother. The answer to Marie's prayers falls from the sky, in the form of Julien, a rakish officer of the French Resistance, here to scout for enemy artillery. And just when things start to get complicated, Kommandant Klopstock requisitions the chateau as a German garrison in order to pursue Marie himself. As sworn enemies do battle for Marie's favors, one man remembers that there's a real war raging all around them. COLCOA is proud to showcase this meticulously restored recipient of the 1966 Louis Delluc Prize in conjunction with the U.S. Premiere of director Jean-Paul Rappeneau's latest film, Families.

They say tragedy plus time equals comedy, but in the early 1960s, the tragedies of WWII were still too fresh on the minds of most French to even consider portraying the Nazi occupation comically. Then writer/director Jean-Paul Rappeneau came along.  Rappeneau hit upon the idea shortly after he gained a foothold in the business as a writer, collaborating with Louis Malle on the screen adaptation of Zazie dans le metro (1960). Rappeneau's rapid-fire screwball comedy owes much to Hollywood masters Howard Hawks and Ernst Lubitsch. On set, he often recited the lines for his actors in an effort to get them to pick up the pace. His masterpiece Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) received 10 César Awards, including Best Director, and was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar®. Rappeneau's latest film, Families, is his first since 1995's The Horseman on the Roof, 

QUOTES:

"The charm of his picture lies in the casual kookiness of his characters, plus the random and childlike unreality of the lovely, fragile, dead-panned Miss Deneuve."

- Bosley Crowther, New York Times

"...one of Rappeneau's most entertaining and stylistically inspired films."

- James Travers,Films De France

UNCOMPLETED SONG / Comment c'est loin

North American Premiere • Comedy/Drama/Musical • France, 2015

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 90 min

Directed by: Orelsan, Christophe Offenstein

Written by: Stéphanie Murat, Christophe Offenstein, Orelsan

Cinematography: Christophe Offenstein

Film Editing: Jeanne Kef

Original Score: Skread, in collaboration with Orelsan and Alexis Rault

Produced by: Maxime Delauney, Romain Rousseau (Nolita Cinema)

Cast: Orelsan (Orel), Gringe (Gringe), Seydou Doucouré (Bouteille), Claude Urbiztondo Llarch (Claude)

 

International Sales: Other Angle Pictures

If procrastination were a science, wannabe rapper duo Orel and Gringe would be shortlisted for a Nobel Prize. With their 30th birthdays descending upon them like a trainload of old, the boys need to rustle some hustle on the career front. Trouble is, in the five years since producer Skread began funding their studio time, these idols of idleness haven't managed to record a single song. Battling a host of personal demons, including fear of failure, denial, and a work ethic that defines dodging your pesky girlfriend as a full-time job, these princes of the preoccupied spend their days trying to squeeze what drops of creative inspiration they can from the banality of their own existence. Fed up with the excuses, Skread brings the hammer down; complete a song in the next 24 hours, or this circus gets its plug pulled. Set in the somnambulant gloom of Caen in Normandy, this hip-hop dramedy is based in part on the lives of rising rap stars Orelsan and Gringe.

Rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor and now film director Orelsan, born Aurélien Cotentin, has been compared to Eminem, both for his clever rhymes and his jokester persona. Like the character he plays, Orelson grew up in Normandy, but unlike his character, Orelson earned a degree in business management before moving on to more creative endeavors. His work has stirred up controversy in the past, especially his track " Dirty Slut"that had some sponsors pulling out of shows. He teamed up with Gringe in 2004 under the name Casseurs Flowters, a play on the translation "Wet Bandits", which is, depending on whom you ask, a reference either to Home Alone, or to something that should be googled only when you're home and alone. Writer/co-director Christophe Offenstein, for whom this is also a debut directing effort, is an established cinematographer known for Tell No One (2006), and Blood Ties (2013). Offenstein's extensive experience tempered Orelson's frenetic energy and brought veracity to his performance. Co-writer Stéphanie Murat is best known for her acting work, but she has also written and directed features, most recently Max (2013) and Victoire (COLCOA 2005).

QUOTES:

"...there's no denying the wry lyrical powers on display here."

- Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter

HOPEFULLY / Encore heureux

West Coast Premiere • Black Comedy • France, 2016

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby • Color • 93 min

Directed by: Benoît Graffin

Written by: Benoît Graffin, Nicolas Bedos, Mika Tard, Deborah Saïag

Cinematography: Antoine Héberlé

Film Editing: Jennifer Augé

Original Score: Stephen Coates

Produced by: E.D.I. Films, EuropaCorp

Cast: Sandrine Kiberlain (Marie), Edouard Baer (Sam), Carla Besnaïnou (Alexia), Bull Ogier (Madeleine)

International Sales: EuropaCorp • europacorp.com

Picture the model family:  the dad, a successful CEO; the mom, attentive and nurturing; the loving son and daughter, good kids, bright and talented. The four of them are all cozied up in shiny digs in the 'burbs. Now throw a nasty economic recession into the mix. And watch it all go to hell. That's the conceit of this outlandish tragicomedy pairing two of France's best comic actors, Edouard Baer and Sandrine Kiberlain, as a couple whose fortunes have gone south - on the real. After two years with no income, Sam and Marie have downsized everything, including their moral standards. Poverty? Homelessness? It's not supposed to happen to good people like this. But somehow, they've gone from dreaming of ways to get ahead to scheming up ways just to get by, even if that means taking advantage of little old ladies, or selling your "assets" to a handsome neighbor. Oh, and the kids? They're in on the act. With one dirty little deed, the model family has dug themselves into a nice deep hole. Now all they can do is hope that no one will ever find out what's buried down there.

Fifteen years have passed since writer/director Benoît Graffin called the shots for his feature Beach Café (2001), based on a short story by Moroccan writer Mohammed Mrabet. During that time Graffin has kept busy with a successful writing career, notably collaborating with Pierre Salvadori on many films, including Priceless (COLCOA 2007) and In the Courtyard (COLCOA 2014), as well as co-writing The Girl From Monaco (COLCOA 2009) with director Anne Fontaine. In fact, it was while co-writing actor/director Edouard Baer's upcoming feature Ouvert la nuit that Graffin decided that Baer would be perfect for the role of Sam and asked him to read the script. Ironically, for the screenplay of his own film, Graffin worked with a team of three other writers, Nicolas Bedos, Mika Tard, Deborah Saïag, all of whom have multiple acting credits in addition to their writing.

QUOTES:

"...one of the more memorable comic takes on France's recent and ongoing economic woes."

- Jordan Mintzer Hollywood Reporter

 

TOMORROW/ Demain

 

West Coast Premiere • Documentary • France, 2015

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 118 min

Directed by: Cyril Dion, Mélanie Laurent

Written by: Cyril Dion

Cinematography: Alexandre Léglise

Film Editing: Sandie Bompar

Original Score: Fredrika Stahl

Produced by: Bruno Lévy

International Sales: Elle Driver

This entertaining and eye-opening winner of the 2016 Best Documentary César offers some provocative solutions to the hard challenges facing much of humanity. In 2012, extinction experts Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly published a paper warning of a coming planetary "sixth extinction," beginning as soon as two generations from now. When environmental activist Cyril Dion shared the article with actress Mélanie Laurent, they decided to team up for a personal journey across ten countries to see what, if anything, could be done. They sought out those pioneers who challenge the old narratives and buck conventional wisdom in agriculture, energy, the economy, democracy, and education. Laurent and Dion quickly understood that they weren't making another pessimistic, moralizing eco-doc, but an inspiring futuristic vision, because those who are offering the most effective solutions today are actually reinventing the world of tomorrow. With humor, stunning imagery, and a musical assist from Swedish songstress Fredrika Stahl, Tomorrow is an emphatic declaration of hope.

Co-directors Mélanie Laurent and Cyril Dion insist that this is not their film. It belongs to the thousands of people who crowdfunded the project. Their goal to raise 200,000 euros in two months was met in two days, and they went on to break a documentary fundraising record. Dion began writing the project in 2010, but when he fully absorbed the implications of the Barnosky/Hadly findings, he resigned his position as head of the Mouvement Colibris (Hummingbird Movement), the environmental NGO he co-founded, in order to dedicate himself to what would become his first feature film. This is the third feature outing for Mélanie Laurent, whose previous features focused on female friendship and bonding. Her first film, The Adopted, won the COLCOA First Feature Award in 2012. Her sophomore effort, Breathe (2014) tackled a toxic friendship between two teenage girls. Laurent is better known stateside as an actress starring with some of Hollywood's biggest names including Brad Pitt ( Inglourious Basterds) and Jake Gyllenhaal ( Enemy).

FAMILIES / Belles familles

US Premiere • Comedy/Drama • France, 2015

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 113 min

Directed by: Jean-Paul Rappeneau

Written by: Jacques Fieschi, Philippe Le Guay, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Julien Rappeneau

Cinematography: Thierry Arbogast

Film Editing: Véronique Lange

Original Score: Martin Rappeneau

Produced by: Laurent Pétin, Michèle Halberstadt (ARP Sélection)

Cast: Mathieu Amalric (Varenne), Marine Vacth (Louise), Gilles Lellouche (Grégoire Piaggi), Nicole Garcia (Suzanne Varenne), Karin Viard (Forence), Guillaume de Tonquedec (Jean-Michel Varenne), André Dussollier (Pierre Cotteret)

International Sales: TF1 International • tf1international.com

Mathieu Amalric leads a nimble comedic cast as Jérôme, a globetrotting businessman based in Shanghai, who makes a pit stop in Paris to introduce his business partner/fiancée to his mother. Jérôme's estranged father has recently passed away, and when he learns that the sale of his family's elegant Loire Valley manor is in bureaucratic limbo, he decides to send his fiancée on to London and take care of the matter personally. Upon arrival, Jérôme's finds that his private memory lane is about to be paved over by the highway of progress. To begin with, the man threatening to lay his ancestral home to block-development waste is none other than Grégoire, an old rival from school. Then it dawns on him that for years his father had been managing an elaborate alternate life in the old place. But it's Grégoire's girlfriend Louise (Young and Beautiful revelation Marine Vacth) that really intrigues him. She dislikes him more than she should, for a man she just met.

When his big budget international espionage project hit a roadblock, veteran writer/director Jean-Paul Rappeneau took a detour that led him to a more autobiographical approach, and a return to the high-energy comedy of earlier films like Call Me Savage (1975 - COLCOA 2012). Known for his meticulous blocking and dynamic camera moves, the Rappeneau style reached its apex in lavish period productions Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) and The Horseman on the Roof (1995). Less known is the fact that Rappeneau is one of very few French writers to have been nominated for a Best Screenplay Oscar ( That Man From Rio, 1964). To help shape his latest screenplay, Rappeneau enlisted co-writers Philippe Le Guay ( The Women on the 6th Floor, COLCOA 2011), and son Julien Rappeneau ( My Way, COLCOA 2012). Julien's brother Martin Rappeneau composed the film's music, keeping Families in the family.

QUOTES:

"...as rich and layered as a gourmet mille-feuille."

- Peter Debruge, Variety

"The film kicks off at top speed and never stops moving, with the 83-year-old Rappeneau zipping through scenes as if he were Usain Bolt adapting a classic vaudeville play by Georges Feydeau."

- Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter

SAINT AMOUR

North American Premiere • Comedy • France, 2016

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 101 min

Directed by: Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern

Written by: Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern

Cinematography: Hugues Poulain

Film Editing: Stéphane Elmadjian

Original Score: Sébastien Tellier

Produced by: Gustave Kervern, Benoît Delépine (No Money Productions), Jean-Pierre Guérin (JPG Films)

Cast: Benoît Poelvoorde (Bruno), Gérard Depardieu (Jean), (Bruno), Vincent Lacoste (Mike), Céline Sallette (Venus), Gustave Kervern (L'oncle)

International Sales: Le Pacte lepacte.fr

Deadpan humor hits the highway for a romp through France's most beautiful wine-growing regions, finding pathos - and some highly improbable sex - along the way. Benoît Poelvoorde brings his signature staccato to the role of Bruno, a lonely, patched-together, wannabe-anything-but cattle farmer.  Bruno hopes to drink his way through his personal crisis by taking the "national wine tour", a series of regional wine stalls at Paris' annual agriculture trade fair. When Bruno's buzz turns belligerent, his father Jean decides that a tour of the real wine country is just the thing to help his son better appreciate France's rural traditions. On the spot, Jean hires a cabbie, the handsome but smug city slicker Mike, and the unlikely trio hoof it out to the countryside to squeeze in a little drinking between hilariously awkward hookups and offbeat encounters, including one with author Michel Houellebecq as a disturbing B&B proprietor. Gérard Depardieu brings some heft to the proceedings as the genial, but slightly befuddled dad hoping to reconnect with his wayward son.

The holy terrors of Franco-Belgian film are back with their seventh film. Writing/directing duo Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern are specialists when it comes to the anarchic road trip comedy. There's the cross-country wheelchair "odd-yssey" Aaltra (COLCOA 2005). There's Depardieu starring as a not-so-easy-rider in Mammuth (COLCOA 2011), and there's Near Death Experience (2014) in which Michel Houellebecq takes a philosophical spin as a suicidal cyclist. Their work has always flirted with the absurd, as with the Sundance Special Jury Prize winner Louise-Michel (COLCOA 2009) about factory workers pooling their money to hire a hit man to kill the boss, and Avida (2006), about a dognapping by two deaf-mute ketamine addicts. But as chaotic and broad as their films can be, there is usually a touch of authentic tenderness extended to their characters, even if some of them don't deserve it. Both Delépine and Kervern got their start in TV, doing political satire. They still contribute to the Canal + comic show, Made in Groeland.

QUOTES:

"...leaves you feeling warm, fuzzy and with a taste for the simpler things in life: this wine-soaked adventure knocks Sideways out of the park."

- India Halstead, Culture Whisper

 "...should go some way to restoring Gérard Depardieu as one of France's greatest actors."

­- Judith Prescott, French Film Review

FRIDAY, APRIL 22

THEY WERE FIVE / La Belle Équipe

North American Premiere (Restored) • Comedy/Drama • France, 1936

DCP • 1.37  • Mono • Black & White • 101 min

Directed by: Julien Duvivier

Written by: Charles Spaak, Julien Duvivier

Cinematography: Marc Fossard, Jules Kruger

Film Editing: Marthe Poncin

Original Score: Maurice Yvain

Produced by: Arys Nissotti (Ciné-Arys)

Cast: Jean Gabin (Jean dit Jeannot), Charles Vanel (Charles dit Charlot), Raymond Aimos (Raymond dit Tintin), Viviane Romance (Gina)

 

International Sales: Pathe international patheinternational.com

Jean Gabin and Charles Vanel headline this cautionary tale of five working-class Joes whose friendship is torn apart after they unexpectedly win the lottery. Jeannot (Gabin) convinces the others to pool their windfall and repair to the banks of the river Marne, there to transform an old ruin into a guinguette (open-air café), to be owned and operated collectively. Their metaphorical utopian community begins to collapse as defections and misfortunes gradually dwindled their numbers and their morale. Until finally, the intrusion of conniving uber-vixen Gina crushes the last vestiges of fraternal solidarity. The film's cheerful, idyllic set-up serves to make the final, pessimistic gut punches land all the more effectively. Considered a masterwork of Julien Duvivier, a more prolific but lesser known contemporary of Jean Renoir, COLCOA is pleased to present the North American Premiere of the restored version, with its rarely seen original ending.

In 1936 much of France was swept up in the enthusiasm for leftist politics culminating in the election of the socialist Front Populaire. Not everyone was so smitten with the ideology, however, and two of its skeptics were screenwriter Charles Spaak and writer/director Julien Duvivier. They set out to make a film that mocked what they saw as the hopeless naiveté of the left.  The result was a film so completely out of step with the mood of the times that after a short, disastrous theatrical run, producer Arys Nissotti convinced Duvivier to shoot a more optimistic ending.  The new cut sat better with audiences at the time, but today feels disjointed since the ending contradicts everything that came before it. Thought to be lost, a copy of the film with the original version of the final reel was recently unearthed in the Cineteca Nazionale in Rome. Known as a "Poet of the Real", Duvivier made 67 films, among which are a score of unsung masterpieces. He is perhaps best known for Pépé le Moko (1937) one of his many collaborations with Jean Gabin.

QUOTES:

"...among Julien Duvivier's most sarcastic and most frighteningly prescient."

- James Travers, Films De France

"...one of [French Cinema's] master directors, albeit one whose full measure has yet to be taken.

- Scott Foundas, Village Voice

Don'T TEll ME THE BOY WAS MAD / Une histoire de fou

U.S. Premiere • Drama • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color/Black & white • 134 min

Directed by: Robert Guédiguian

Written by: Robert Guédiguian, Gilles Taurand,

Based on the autobiography by: José Antonio Gurriaran

Cinematography: Pierre Milon

Film Editing: Bernard Sasia

Original Score: Alexandre Desplat

Produced by: Agat Films & Cie / Ex Nihilo

Cast: Simon Abkarian (Hovannès Alexandrian), Ariane Ascaride (Anouch Alexandrian), Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet (Gilles Teissier), Syrus Shahidi (Aram Alexandrian), Robinson Stévenin (Soghomon Tehlirian)

 

International Sales: MK2 • mk2pro.com

 

Against a backdrop of militant attacks sweeping 1980s Europe, this absorbing tale dives headfirst into themes of collective guilt, historical amnesia, and radicalization. Aram, a young man of Armenian descent, grows up in Marseille hearing stories of Turkish brutality and genocide against his people. Although these are the sins of a past generation, Aram's pitched rage leads him to lash out against a Turkish diplomat in Paris. Fleeing to Beirut to join the Armenian Liberation Army, Aram doesn't know that his bomb also seriously wounded Gilles, an innocent cyclist who happened to be passing by. When Aram's mother Anouch learns of her son's involvement in the bombing, her conscience gets the better of her, and she decides to pay a visit to Gilles in the hospital. Anouch's shame seems no match for Gilles' anger and bitterness, yet the encounter inspires Gilles to dig deeper into Armenian history - by way of imposing himself directly on Aram's family.

Based on the autobiographical novel by journalist Jose Antonio Gurriaran, who was himself paralyzed in an Armenian terrorist attack and later defended the Armenian cause, this cri de coeur from writer/director Robert Guédiguian is a return to themes that have preoccupied him personally and professionally. Born to an Armenian dockworker in Marseille, Guédiguian makes films that confront social and political issues but add a touch of thriller or noir to the kitchen sink naturalism. Relying on a stable of regular actors, his early features were expressions of pessimism for the future of the French working class. Later films like Marius and Jeannette (1997) took a lighter, more charming turn, and garnered international acclaim. His ambitious Army of Crime (2009) pays tribute to immigrant resistance fighters in wartime France. For one of that film's co-writers, Gilles Taurand, this marks his third collaboration with Guédiguian, along with The Last Mitterrand (2005).   Don't Tell me the Boy was Mad had its World Premiere at the last Cannes Film Festival.

QUOTES:

"A meaty two-hour-plus drama, with Guédiguian sketching in the moral dilemmas with clarity and firmness."

- Andrew Pulver, The Guardian

"Guédiguian constructs small stories around the main one with great sincerity and compassion, certainly making this one of his most successful movies."

- Geoffrey Crété, CineMan

A DECENT MAN / Je ne suis pas un salaud

West Coast Premiere • Drama, Film Noir • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 111 min

Directed by: Emmanuel Finkiel

Written by: Emmanuel Finkiel, Julie Peyr

Cinematography: Alexis Kavyrchine

Film Editing: Sylvie Lager

Original Score: Chloé

Produced by: Christine Gozlan, David Poirot (Thelma Films)

Cast: Nicolas Duvauchelle (Eddie), Melanie Thierry (Karine), Driss Ramdi (Ahmed), Maryne Cayon (Estelle)

International Sales: Bac Films • bacfilms.fr

The modern world is changing too fast for people like Eddie, an unemployed, underachieving 30-something separated from his wife and son. Morose and aimless, Eddie sees few opportunities for improvement from his barstool perch in the soul-sucking concrete gloom of the housing projects. Yet when Eddie is stabbed and beaten while attempting to stop some hoodlums from stealing a car radio, his life changes unexpectedly, and for the better. He's proclaimed a hero. His wife takes him back in and even finds an entry-level job. In a police line-up, Eddie fingers Ahmed, an Arab youth whom he recognizes, not from the attack, but from a sales training video. He can't say exactly why he lied, but as the law comes down hard on a man whose only crime is being an Arab with a good job, Eddie is trapped in his own downward spiral of volatility and rage.

Due to the film's themes and violence, some may see it as a reaction to the November Paris attack but, in fact writer/director Emmanuel Finkiel has been working on the project for a decade. Finkiel began as an assistant director for Krzysztof Kieslowski and Jean-Luc Godard before winning a César for his short film, Madame Jacques on the Croisette (1999). His Holocaust-themed debut feature Voyages (1999) won the Best First Work César and was praised for its "subtlety and restraint." A Decent Man may be more hard-hitting than his earlier work, but it shows the same measured precision and studied naturalism. The film was inspired in part by a real incident in which a friend of Finkiel, named Ahmed was falsely accused after the police rounded up everyone in the area with that name. Finkiel collaborated on the screenplay with Julie Peyr, noted for her work with director Arnaud Desplechin.

QUOTES:

"This is a powerful ... and superbly acted film, rich in messages about class, ethnicity, and the trap of wage poverty."

- Chris Knipp, Filmleaf

 "Duvauchelle's intensity is perfectly calibrated, weaving together nervous tension with a tripwire pleasantness.

- Jay Weissman, Variety

Kalinka / Au nom de ma fille

North American Premiere • Drama • France, 2016

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 87 min

Directed by: Vincent Garenq

Written by: Vincent Garenq, Julien Rappeneau

Cinematography: Renaud Chassaing

Film Editing: Valérie Deseine

Original Score: Maxime Desprez, Michael Tordjman

Produced by: LGM Cinéma SAS, Black Mask Productions

Cast: Daniel Auteuil (André Bamberski), Marie-Josée Croze (Dany), Sébastian Koch (Dieter Krombach)

International Sales: Studio Canal • studiocanal.com

More intimate drama than thriller, Kalinka chronicles one man's quixotic,  27-year fight for justice in the name of his murdered daughter. Imagine it, your 14-year-old child turns up dead from alleged sunstroke at the house of your ex-wife's new husband, a German doctor with a history of sexual abuse. Worse, the autopsy report reveals evidence of abuse and mysterious injections, administered both before and after death. The sordid side of André Bamberski's story has been tabloid fodder for years in France. But questions about what really happened that fateful night take a back seat to Daniel Auteuil's fierce interpretation of Bamberski's obsessive determination to bring the case to trial in the face of mounting bureaucratic quagmires and spineless magistrates. As the situation grows more desperate, so do Bamberski's tactics, and when the doctor's extradition to France begins to look unlikely, the aggrieved father decides it's time to play a different, more proactive role.

For documentarian turned fiction filmmaker, Vincent Garenq, justice is more than a subject for a film. Of his four features, three of them are interpretations of court cases. Garenq's skill lays in his total command of the issues involved in the cases, and in his ability to plum the emotional depths of his everyday heroes, like the family man fighting to prove his innocence in Guilty (COLCOA 2012), or the journalist risking his career to reveal the corruption within a multinational bank in The ClearStream Affair (2014). Garenq is sometimes compared to André Cayatte, whose films, such as Justice is Done (1950), reflected an enduring fascination for the French judicial system. However, Garenq's approach is less moralizing, designed merely to point out, rather than to point a finger at, institutional dysfunction. Garenq's co-writer Julien Rappeneau, is also the co-writer of Families, the latest work of director Jean-Paul Rappeneau, screening its U.S. Premiere at COLCOA this year.

UN PLUS UNE / Un + Une

U.S. Premiere • Romance • France, 2015

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 115 min

Directed by: Claude Lelouch

Written by: Claude Lelouch, Valérie Perrin

Cinematography: Robert Alazraki

Film Editing: Stéphane Mazalaigue

Original Score: Francis Lai

Produced by: Claude Lelouch (Les Films 13), Davis Films, JD Prod

Cast: Academy Award® winner Jean Dujardin (Antoine Abelard), Elsa Zylberstein (Anna Hamon), Christophe Lambert (Samuel Hamon), Alice Pol (Alice Hanel)

International Sales: Davis Films

In this slow-burning romance, charismatic leads Jean Dujardin and Elsa Zylberstein play opposites attracting in postcard India. Celebrated film composer Antoine arrives in Mumbai to record the music for a Bollywood take on Romeo and Juliet. Already bored with the idea of scoring yet another "movie for festivals", the womanizing charmer sets his sights on Anna, the younger wife of the French Ambassador. Ever since his arrival, Antoine has been unable to shake a headache, exacerbated it seems by his much younger girlfriend, who keeps calling from Paris. Anna, on the other hand, is convinced that a child is the only thing missing from her relationship, and decides to go on a "fertility pilgrimage" to the holy city of Varanasi to commune with Amma, the "hugging saint." With his awards and his self-satisfaction, Antoine doesn't see the need for spiritual quests, but with his girlfriend's arrival a few days away, he's got some time to kill. And who knows, a motherly hug might be just the thing for that nagging migraine of symbolic import.

Few filmmakers are more in love with the idea of being in love than writer/director Claude Lelouch. After six decades of filmmaking and five life partners, the 78 year-old veteran remains ever the hopeless romantic of French cinema. Lelouch forged that reputation beginning fifty years ago with A Man and a Woman, a simplistic love story that earned him a grand slam of both the Palme d'Or and the Foreign Language Oscar. If his overt sentimentalism confounded his New Wave cohorts, audiences felt no such ambivalence. Over the years he scored hits such hits as Les Misérables (1995), and the thriller Roman de gare (COLCOA 2008). Most recently his films have taken on a more autobiographical nature, with protagonists that are thinly veiled stand-ins for Lelouch himself, allowing him to explore themes of mortality and family ties. This is Lelouch's second collaboration with co-writer Valérie Perrin, who worked with him on We Love You, You Bastard (COLCOA 2014).

QUOTES:

"Lelouch diehards will not be disappointed by this new spin on an old theme."

- Judith Prescott, French Cinema Review

"...casts a certain spell with its touches of movie love, its elegant score by frequent Lelouch collaborator Francis Lai, and especially its central performances."

- Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

FAST CONVOY/ Le Convoi

North American Premiere • Action/Thriller • France, 2016

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 102 min

Directed by: Frédéric Schoendoerffer

Written by: Yann Brion, Frédéric Schoendoerffer

Cinematography: Vincent Gallot

Film Editing: Sophie Fourdrinoy

Original Score: Thibault Quillet

Produced by: Éric Névé (Carcharodon), Orange Studio.

Cast: Benoît Magimel (Alex), Reem Kherici (Nadia), Tewfik Jallab (Imad), Mahdi Belemlih (Elyes), Amir El Kacem (Yacine)

 

International Sales: Indie Sales • indiesales.eu

Speed isn't the only thing that kills in this slick, turbo-charged road thriller. Benoît Magimel leads a band of banlieuebad boys hauling stash for cash while steering clear of the law. Tasked with moving 3,000 lbs. of hashish from southern Spain to Paris, Alex (Magimel) organizes a motorcade of four vehicles for a "go fast" - a flagrant, high-speed drug run designed to be so risky the police can't stop the traffickers without endangering the public.  The scout car looks for trouble up the road, while Alex stoically drives the follow car, ready to intervene should trouble be found. The team's camaraderie is fragile, and as they tick off the kilometers, suspicion and paranoia make everyone twitchy. The tension kicks into overdrive when a firefight with the Spanish police forces them to take a hostage. Burning as much adrenaline as gasoline, Alex struggles to hold the team together as they make their mad dash for pay dirt in Paris.

Action aficionado Frédéric Schoendoerffer has always been a stickler for detail and authenticity in his films, so as part of his research for this project, he brought in Yacine, a young man who had participated in 20 go fasts before he was caught and sent to jail. Co-writer Yann Brion, on his fifth collaboration with Schoendoerffer, spent several months working with Yacine as an adviser. Schoendoerffer got his first taste of filmmaking as an assistant director on his father Pierre Schoendoerffer's war drama Dien Bien Phu in 1992. His first feature, the thriller Crime Scene (2000), starred his brother, actor Ludovic Schoendoerffer, and was nominated for a Best First Feature César.  From there, Schoendoerffer has gone on to make a handful of taut thrillers set in the world of crime, including Switch (2011), and Paris Lockdown (2007), his first outing with actor Benoît Magimel. As part of the final auditions for Convoy, actors were asked to drive as fast as they could while speaking their lines, with Schoendoerffer and his driving coordinator Jean-Claude Lagniez sitting in the back seat.

QUOTES:

"...kicks off at 100 mph and manages to maintain that pace for most of the running time."

- Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter

SATURDAY, APRIL 23

ON GUARD/ Le Bossu

World Premiere (restored version) • History/Adventure/Romance • France, 1997

DCP • 2.35 • DTS • Color • 128 min

Directed by: Philippe de Broca

Written by: Philippe de Broca, Jean Cosmos, Jérôme Tonnerre,

Based on the novel by: Paul Féval

Cinematography: Jean-François Robin

Film Editing: Henri Lanoë

Original Score: Philippe Sarde

Produced by: Françoise Galfré, Patrick Godeau

Cast: Daniel Auteuil (Lagardère), Fabrice Luchini (Gonzague), Vincent Perez (Duc de Nevers), Marie Gillain (Aurore), Jean-François Stévenin (Cocardasse)

International Sales: Tf1 International • tf1international.com

US Distributor: Cohen Media Group • cohenmedia.net

First premiering at COLCOA in 1998, this swashbuckling classic returns to our screen with an all-new digital restoration, and the swordplay never looked so good. Romance and revenge are the main ingredients in this sweeping adventure, set amid a lavish 17th century backdrop. Daniel Auteuil plays the stalwart Lagardère, a man of humble origins, but whose skill with a sword earns him the patronage of the flamboyant Duke of Nevers. The closest known heir to the Duke's considerable fortune is his slithery cousin, Count Gonzague, so when the Duke resolves to marry the mother of his newly discovered child, the conniving Count schemes to block their union at all costs. Lagardère is tasked to protect the Duke's infant daughter by hiding out with an itinerant theater troupe and raising the girl himself.  As his young charge, Aurore, grows into a radiant young woman, Lagardère adds a new theatrical twist to his formidable fencing abilities, hoping that one day he will have the chance to avenge his patron and restore Aurore as the rightful heir.

When On Guard hit theaters nearly two decades ago the popularity of the swashbuckler was ebbing, but thanks to the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the genre has many new converts. And few filmmakers knew better how to make it work than writer/director Philippe de Broca. In fact, his first big commercial success was the historical adventure Swords of Blood (1962) starring frequent collaborator Jean-Paul Belmondo. Although de Broca came out of the French New Wave generation, films like That Man From Rio (1964) and his cult masterpiece King of Hearts (1966) have a warm comedic style that weren't a great fit for the movement. Above all, what endures in de Broca's work is his ability to charm an audience, and his tireless insistence in doing so. It's no surprise then that although Paul Feval's 1857 novel has been filmed seven times, it is de Broca's version that best captures its high-spirited panache. De Broca was a prolific filmmaker, and continued to make films, mostly comedies, right up to his death in 2004 at the age of 71.

QUOTES:

"...full of durable cinematic pleasures: a little sex, a lot of sword fighting and a plot that combines heady passion with complicated political intrigue."

- A .O. SCOTT, New York Times

"A big, gorgeous, sprawling swashbuckler that delivers its diversions in grand, uncomplicated fashion."

- Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle

LAND LEGS / Tempête

North American Premiere • Drama • France, 2016

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby • Color • 89 min

Directed by: Samuel Collardey

Written by: Samuel Collardey, Catherine Paillé

Cinematography: Samuel Collardey

Film Editing: Julien Lacheray

Original Score: Vincent Girault

Produced by: Grégoire Debailly (Geko Films)

Cast: Dominique Leborne (Dom), Matteo Leborne (Matteo), Mailys Leborne (Mailys), Vincent Bessonnet (Vincent)

 

International Sales: Stray Dogs

When we first meet 36-year-old Dom in a pub listening to old sea shanties, it's not immediately clear if he's an actor playing a fisherman, or a fisherman re-enacting the story of his life. Dominique Leborne won the Best Actor Award in the Venice Horizons sidebar for his portrayal of himself - a divorced father of two trying to hold his family together at all costs. Usually, Dom is out on fishing vessels for months at a time, but when his daughter Mailys (Mailys Leborne) turns up pregnant, social services threatens to take custody of the kids unless he can spend more time with them. Dom has only known a life at sea, so his best shot at making his own hours is to get a boat of his own. But without any capital, his decision to stop working for others precipitates a downward spiral that brings the family to the brink of homelessness. This unassuming docudrama starring a trio of nonprofessional actors manages to blend just enough reality and fiction to get the best of both.

The third time's a charm for writer/director Samuel Collardey. Since his first feature, the Prix Louis Delluc-winning Apprentice (2008), Collardey has been honing his naturalistic docu-fiction approach. For his second film, Little Lion (COLCOA 2013), Collardey felt that his style might benefit from a little more fiction and story elements. But when the boy whose story he wanted to tell refused to play himself, Collardey was forced to use an actor, and his original impetus for the film was lost. Collardey was drawn to the world of fisherman, but it was his long-time screenwriting partner Catherine Paillé who first met Dominique Leborne on a short film she was shooting several years earlier. Before filming, Collardey spent nearly a year observing Dom. He slept on Dom's sofa, went to sea with him. At that time, Dom's daughter Mailys was estranged from her father, and Collardy convinced her to portray herself in the film as a way of spending more time with him. Trained as a cinematographer, Collardey's camera perfectly captures the melancholy grays of Sables d'Olonne.

QUOTES:

"...both moving and unpretentious."

- Bénédicte Prot CINEUROPA

"He (Dominique Leborne) has a quiet sort of charisma that makes him rather exciting to watch."

- Benjamin Rendall VFF Film Review

NEITHER HEAVEN NOR EARTH / Ni le ciel, ni la terre

West Coast Premiere • War/Thriller/Fantasy • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 100 min

Directed by: Clément Cogitore

Written by: Thomas Bidegain, Maxime Caperan, Julia Ducournau, Nadja Dumouchel, Fabien Gorgeart, Britta Krause, Franz Rodenkirchen, Clément Cogitore

Cinematography: Sylvain Verdet

Film Editing: Isabelle Manquillet

Original Score: Eric Bentz, François-Eudes Chanfrault

Produced by: Jean-Christophe Reymond, Amaury Ovise (Kazak Productions)

Cast: Jérémie Renier (Capitaine Antarès Bonassieu), Swann Arlaud (Jérémie Lernowski), Marc Robert (Jean-Baptiste Frering), Kévin Azaïs (William Denis), Finnegan Oldfield (Patrick Mercier)

 

International Sales: Indie Sales • indiesales.eu

U.S. Distributor: Film Movement • filmmovement.com

U.S. Release Date: 2016

War-torn Afghanistan becomes a metaphysical netherworld in this evocatively eerie genre bender. No-nonsense Captain Antarès Bonassieu and 12 French NATO soldiers patrol a badland of endless dust and rock in search of a Taliban warlord called "Sultan". The unit is on high alert, relations with the villagers are fraught, and the Taliban are everywhere and nowhere. One night, while observing what appears to be some kind of ritual involving a tethered goat, two of his men disappear. Initially Bonassieu maintains a firm command on the situation. He believes he knows who took the men, and where they might be located. But as certainties begin to fall away, Bonassieu's grunts - hardened fighters to a man - are consumed with primal fear. Whatever is happening out there is bigger than the war on terror, and far more mysterious.

The French Union of Critics voted Neither Heaven nor Earth 2015's Best French Debut Feature, marking writer/director Clément Cogitore as a filmmaker to watch. Cogitore was able to attract a strong cast including Kévin Azaïs, who signed on to the project before Love at First Fight (COLCOA 2015) made him a rising star. Cogitore, an established contemporary artist with multimedia installations in exhibitions throughout the world, brought a bold visual approach to the film, even shooting extended sequences directly through the lens of night-vision goggles. He has made half a dozen shorts, including the docu-short, Bielutine - In The Garden Of Time, selected for Director's Fortnight at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Cogitore's principal collaborator on the screenplay, Thomas Bidegain, has won multiple awards for his collaborations on such notable screenplays as A Prophet (2009), Rust and Bone (2012), and Dheepan (2015).

QUOTES:

"...an incredibly ambitious and daring work...intellectually stimulating and indefinably weird."

- James Travers, Films De France

"...haunting and original."

- John Bleasdale, CineVue

"...an existential trip."

- Kent Turner, Film Forward

I AM A SOLDIER / Je suis un soldat

West Coast Premiere • Drama • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 96 min

Directed by: Laurent Larivière

Written by: François Decodts, Laurent Larivière

Cinematography: David Chizalet

Film Editing: Marie-Pierre Frappier

Original Score: Martin Wheeler

Produced by: Dominique Besnehard (Mon Voisin Productions)

Cast: Louise Bourgoin (Sandrine), Jean-Hugues Anglade (Henri), Anne Benoît (Martine)

International Sales: Le Pacte • le-pacte.com

If you were thinking a willowy leading actress and a lot of cute puppies mean you're in for a schmaltz fest, think again. I am a Soldier is a hard-hitting drama about a woman compromised by the financial pressures of France's economic austerity. In a thoughtful, subdued performance, Louise Bourgoin plays Sandrine, a 30-year-old who, after a failed attempt to succeed in Paris, is forced to retreat to Roubaix and the working-class life she'd hoped to escape. Disengaged from the world, she takes a job working at her Uncle Henri's dog-breeding kennel. Everyone in her immediate circle has money issues, except Henri, and as she soon finds out, that's because he's operating an illegal puppy mill. Puppies are smuggled in from Eastern Europe, purchased by weight like meat; the unsold stock disposed of with little more concern. In desperate times money trumps morality and Sandrine stays with it, long enough to discover she has a knack for business. Intoxicated by finding her first real talent in life, Sandrine turns a blind eye to the dark side of the actual business she's in.

This year, COLCOA's Focus on a Producer is dedicated to Dominique Besnehard, who brings us this debut feature from writer/director Laurent Larivière. Shown in competition at the 2015 Cannes' Un Certain Regard sidebar, Larivière brings together the stylistic approach and techniques he's honed over the course making a handful of acclaimed shorts such as Lightning Struck Me (2006), and Les larmes (2010). Narrative restraint, naturalistic performances, and economic dialogue all bring to mind his chief influences:  American James Gray and Belgium's Dardenne brothers. Parallel to his filmmaking career, Larivière creates films that are part of the stage design for theater and performance pieces. It was at one of his shows that he met and befriended actress Louise Bourgoin ( The Girl from Monaco - COLCOA 2009, Love Lasts Three Years - COLCOA 2012.) He wrote the part of Sandrine with Bourgoin in mind, though she was unaware of that when she first read the screenplay. This is also the first feature credit for co-writer François Decodts. He has recently collaborated on a new feature script for Heat Wave (2011) director Jean-Jacques Jauffret.

QUOTES:

"...genuine and suspenseful." - Neal Dhand, PopOptiq

"...benefits from a tightly wound plot line and a select amount of settings." - Piers McCarthy, Live For Films

 

ONE MAN AND HIS COW / La Vache

West Coast Premiere • Comedy • France, 2016

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby • Color • 91 min

Directed by: Mohamed Hamidi

Written by: Mohamed Hamidi, Alain-Michel Blanc, Fatsah Bouyahmed

Cinematography: Elin Kirschfink

Film Editing: Marion Monnier

Original Score: Ibrahim Maalouf

Produced by: Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun (Yume - Quad Films), Jamel Debbouze (Kiss Films)

Cast: Fatsah Bouyahmed (Fatah), Lambert Wilson (Philippe), Jamel Debbouze (Hassan)

 

International Sales: Pathe Distribution

If Hannibal could get an army of elephants across the Alps, how hard can it be to get one cow across France? Fatah, an Algerian farmer played by Franco-Algerian comic Fatsah Bouyahmed, is determined to find out in this cheerful, comedic road movie with a twist or two. When his beloved prize heifer, Jacqueline, is finally invited to compete at the prestigious Salon de l'Agriculture in Paris, Fatah has to figure out a way to get there. After some encouragement from his fellow villagers, Fatah rounds up his courage and leaves his home for the first time in his life. Crossing all of France on foot, you're bound to have a few interesting encounters, and Jacqueline turns out to be a real conversation starter. Before Fatah knows it, he and his bovine BFF go viral, and even his wife and children are watching him milk his newfound fame on the village's one communal TV. Which is unfortunate, because with all those cameras trained on him, it's only a matter of time before something goes utterly wrong.

The journey to filmmaking for writer/director Mohamed Hamidi has been as full of twists as the protagonist of his film. While teaching economics in Bobigny, he got the opportunity to compose some music for Franco-Morroccan comedian Jamel Debbouze's comedy club. Before long, Hamidi was collaborating full time, working as artistic director for the comedy festival Marrakech du Rire and even writing material for Debbouze's stand-up shows. In 2013, Hamidi mounted his first feature, Homeland, about a young second-generation immigrant man going "home" to Algeria for the first time in his life. Both of his films feature Debbouze, who remains an important compass point in his career. Hamidi's strength lays in his ability to transform the contradictions of modern life in Algeria into comedy. One Man and His Cow is a riff on Henri Verneuil's 1959 The Cow and I, about a French POW who escapes Germany using a cow as a decoy. And that's the straight story...

QUOTES:

"It's easy to see the appeal of this gentle comedy with a funny, touching central performance from Bouyahmed."

- Judith Prescott, French Cinema Review

FATIMA / Fatima

West Coast Premiere • Drama • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 79 min

Directed by: Philippe Faucon

Written by: Philippe Faucon

Based on the books by: Fatima Elayoubi

Cinematography: Laurent Fenart

Film Editing: Sophie Mandonnet

Produced by: Isabelle Faucon, Philippe Faucon (Istiqlal Films)

Cast: Soria Zeroual (Fatima), Zita Hanrot (Nesrine), Kenza-Noah Aïche (Souad), Chawki Amari (the father), Isabelle Candelier (the employer)

International Sales: Pyramide Films • pyramidefilms.com

U.S. Distributor:  Kino Lorber • kinolorber.com

U.S. Release Date: 2016

This perceptive celebration of a resilient immigrant mother of two working as a house cleaner in Lyon, cleaned up at the 2016 César Awards, taking prizes for Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Most Promising Actress for bright newcomer Zita Hanrot. Adopting a grounded, episodic approach, the film focuses on the challenges of cultural assimilation as seen through the eyes of two generations of women. Fatima is a divorcee holding down several menial jobs. She emigrated from North Africa at 20, but 20 years later, she struggles to speak enough French to communicate with her own daughters Nesrine and Souad, whose lives she is tirelessly devoted to improving. Nesrine is trying to strike a balance between cramming for her pre-med exams and dating, while the younger and more rebellious Souad is testing her limits and her mother's patience by acting out. Facing veiled racism, suspicion, awkwardness, and shame on a daily basis, Fatima discovers that the perfect outlet for her frustrations is also the best way to tell her daughters how she really feels.

The immigrant experience is on the minds of quite a few French filmmakers of late, but for writer/director Philippe Faucon it has been a career-defining theme. Samia (2000), shed light on the conflicting expectations of first and second generation Algerian immigrants. La Désintégration (2012) looked at the disillusionment leading to Islamic radicalization amongst a group of young men in Lille. The Betrayal (2006) turned the tables, exploring the struggles of a French officer torn between his duty and the excessive repression of villagers during the Algerian War. Faucon achieves portraits of startling complexity and immediacy, in part through the use of an almost docu-style naturalism. His casting of Soria Zeroual as Fatima, a non-actor who actually works as a house cleaner, is a case in point. For the script, Faucon consulted with Aziza Boudjellal, Yasmina Nini-Faucon, and Mustapha Kharmoudi to forge a narrative out of the poems and prose from autobiographical books by Fatima Elayoubi.

 

QUOTES:

"...generous in rueful insight and emotional complexity."

- Justin Chang, Variety

"...brings clarity and even a sense of exhilaration to the struggle of mother and daughters to succeed on their own terms."

- Amy Taubin, BFI

THE INNOCENTS / Les Innocentes

West Coast Premiere • Drama • France, 2016

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 110 min

Directed by: Anne Fontaine

Written by: Pascal Bonitzer, Sabrina B. Karine, Alice Vial

Original Idea: Philippe Maynial

Cinematography: Caroline Champetier

Film Editing: Annette Dutertre

Original Score: Grégoire Hetzel

Produced by: Éric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer

Cast: Lou de Laâge (Mathilde Beaulieu), Agata Buzek (Maria), Agata Kulesza (Mère Abesse), Vincent Macaigne (Samuel), Joanna Kulig (Irena)

International Sales: Films Distribution • filmsdistribution.com

US Distributor: Music Box Films • musicboxfilms.com

Premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film festival under the original title Agnus Dei, The Innocents is a WWII film with a fresh, feminine perspective. Set in the ruins of 1945 Poland after hostilities have ceased, the drama unfolds in a Benedictine convent, where the sisters try to maintain a tenuous grip on their faith after the chaos of war upends their cloistered existence. Mathilde, a young French Red Cross doctor is convinced to break protocol and make a house call at the convent. What she finds there disturbs her - a pregnant nun in the midst of a complicated labor. More shocking still, she discovers several more novice nuns in various stages of pregnancy, and a headstrong Mother Superior (Agata Kulesza, Ida) refusing medical assistance for fear that if word gets out the convent's future will be jeopardized. Secular and thoroughly modern, what Mathilde lacks in religious conviction she makes up for in compassion and decency, but she is ill prepared to confront the corrosive feelings of abandonment and shame overwhelming these servants of God.

This is perhaps the most restrained and intense film of writer/director Anne Fontaine, who is known for her more glamorous fare such as the glitzy biopic Coco Before Chanel (2009), and her frothy comedy Gemma Bovery (COLCOA 2015). With the help of co-writers Sabrina Karine, Pascal Bonitzer and Alice Vial, Fontaine creates a multi-layered story based on an original idea by Philippe Maynial, the nephew of historical figure Madeleine Pauliac, upon whom the Mathilde character is based. After starting out as a TV actor, Fontaine gained international recognition with her provocative third feature, Dry Cleaning (COLCOA 1998).

QUOTES:

"...intelligent, nuanced filmmaking at its best."

- Judith Prescott, French Cinema Review

"...leaves us with a fresh understanding of our capacity to respond to suffering with good or evil."

-  Justin Chang, Variety

BANG GANG (A MODERN LOVE STORY) / Bang Gang (une histoire d'amour moderne)

West Coast Premiere • Drama • France, 2015

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 98 min

Directed by: Eva Husson

Written by: Eva Husson

Cinematography: Mattias Troelstrup

Film Editing: Émilie Orsini

Original Score: Morgan Kibby

Produced by: Didar Domehri (Maneki Films), Laurent Baudens (Borsalino Productions), Full House

Cast: Finnegan Oldfield (Alex), Marilyn Lima (George), Lorenzo Lefèbvre (Gabriel), Daisy Broom (Laetitia), Fred Hotier (Nikita), Manuel Husson (Le père de Gabriel)

 

International Sales: Film Distribution • filmsdistribution.com

U.S. Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn • samuelgoldwyn films.com

U.S. Release Date: 2016

A heat wave isn't the only thing in full swing in this steamy drama about rich kids in the coastal town of Biarritz stripping down and shaking off that mid-summer ennui. As Young George, Marilyn Lima (think adolescent Bardot painted by Botticelli), unexpectedly falls for Alex after he coaxes her into a casual encounter. When the feelings aren't reciprocated, George tries to remind him what he's missing by instigating a game of truth or dare with enough dare in it to put a glint in the eye of a porn impresario. Aided by some selfies and the Internet, word spreads, and what began as an attempt to spark a little jealously explodes into a furious wildfire of sexual discovery. George, Alex, and their growing circle of libertine teens are now determined to find their limits, consequences be damned.

Twenty years after Kids arrived like a "cultural blitzkrieg", Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) raised eyebrows at its Toronto International Film Festival premier. Although the film's explicit depiction of too much, too young sex invites that comparison, first-time feature writer/director E va Husson was thinking more Wong Kar-Wai than Larry Clark. An AFI graduate, Husson made a splash with her mid-length, Death Valley-set film, Those For Whom It's Always Complicated (2013), which French audiences would have seen on Arte. She has also  filmed videos for music acts such as Florence and the Machine and M83. Husson conscripted M83 collaborator Morgan Kibby to make the film's mesmerizing synth beat soundtrack.

QUOTES:

"Astutely milking its erotic appeal - and treading a delicate fine line this side of exploitation."

-Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

"Artfully shot and directed ... Bang Gang delivers on its promise of modern love."

- Jared Mobarak

SUNDAY, APRIL 24

LONG WAY NORTH / Tout en haut du monde

West Coast Premiere • Animation/Adventure • France, 2015

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 81 min • In English

Directed by: Rémi Chayé

Written by: Claire Paoletti, Patricia Valeix, Fabrice de Costil

Film Editing: Benjamin Massoubre

Original Score: Jonathan Morali

Produced by: Ron Dyens (Sacrebleu Productions), Henri Magalon (Maybe Movies)

English Cast: Chloé Dunn, Vivienne Vermes, Peter Hudson, Antony Hickling, Tom Perkins, Geoffrey Greenhill, Claire Harrison-Bullett, Bibi Jacob.

 

International Sales: Urban Distribution International • urbandistrib.com

U.S. Distributor: Shout! Factory • shoutfactory.com

Release Date: Fall 2016

This charming animated English-voiced adventure is set in the glory days of 19th Century exploration. As a member of the Russian aristocracy, 15 year-old Sasha is expected to make her debut in polite society, to marry strategically, and to live out her life as an obedient wife. But Sasha has other plans. She was born with the wanderlust of her grandfather Oloukine, an explorer of renown who has yet to return from his expedition to the far reaches of the North Pole aboard his unsinkable ship, the Davia. Meanwhile, the Tsar's treacherous nephew has used Oloukine's absence to tarnish her family's honor and Sasha is convinced that the Davia hasn't been found because everyone is looking in the wrong place. Without a ruble of her own, Sasha sets off to territories unknown, hoping to prove her theory and to restore the family reputation, even if it leaves her marriage prospects in ruins.

Director Rémi Chayé decided to animate his first feature in 2D, a bold choice for a spectacular adventure story. This graphically simplified technique had the advantages of allowing him to focus more on color, and of helping to evoke the nostalgic worlds of two major influences: Jack London and Jules Verne. In development since 2005, the film was a labor of love for Chayé, who began as an illustrator for comics and advertising before making his way through the ranks of animation starting as a storyboarder for films like L'île de Black Mór (2004), Secret of the Kells (2009), and The Painting (2011). The idea for the film came to Chayé through TV writer Claire Paoletti, who, using Shackleton's polar expedition as a major reference, developed the full treatment from a one-page outline.  Two writers contributed to the screenplay, Patricia Valeix completed the second draft and  Fabrice de Costil added the dialogue and final polish.

QUOTES:

"This is what movies used to do, and this is why Long Way North deserves a wide audience."

- Vassilis Kroustallis, Zippy Frames

"...told in an enchanting manner with equal focus on the animation as well as strong character development."

-Jason Bechervaise, Screen Daily

THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX / Le Complexe de Frankenstein

North American Premiere • Documentary • France, 2016

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 104 min

Directed by: Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet

Written by: Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet

Cinematography: Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet

Film Editing: Gilles Penso

Original Score: Alexandre Poncet

Produced by: Frenetic Arts

Cast: Rick Baker (Himself), Joe Dante (Himself), Guillermo Del Toro (Himself)

International Sales: Le Pacte • lepacte.fr

 

Before CGI, the great movie creatures were designed and built by hand. Over a century of film that craft evolved into an art. From Godzilla to Gollum, this documentary celebrates that evolution, taking a peek behind the curtain at special make-up effects, puppetry, animatronics, and modern digital techniques. Interviews and workshop visits with dozens of monster masters and creature creators like Guillermo Del Toro, Rick Baker, and Lord of the Rings' Richard Taylor reveal how movie beasts crawl, claw, bite, and growl their way into our collective imagination. And for cinephiles, there's a banquet of exclusive, never-before-seen footage from monster classics such as Gremlins, The Abyss, and Jurassic Park, the film that ushered in the digital effects era. A rich, entertaining tribute to the movie magicians who, like Dr. Frankenstein himself, know how to toss a few simple materials together, and make it come to life.

Although they initially hail from different disciplines, co-writers/co-directors Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet have always shared a mutual love for sci-fi and fantasy films. As a critic and film historian, Penso contributed to filmzines like L'Ecran fantastique before making two documentaries focusing on French comedians. Around the same time, Poncet was writing reviews for the cult French publication Mad Movies. In 2008-09, Poncet was the director/editor/producer of the TV series The Incredible Horror Show. But it was as a film composer and producer that he first came together with Penso.  In 2012, they made Ray Harryhausen - Special Effects Titan, profiling the life and work of the famed stop-motion animator. The film garnered international acclaim, prompting another collaboration in 2013, Derrière le masque des super-héros. The Frankenstein Complex is Pocent's first feature as a director and Penso's fifth. They worked on the film for more than two years, crossing the globe to get their interviews, and gain unprecedented access to normally restricted workshops.

ALL GONE SOUTH / Babysitting 2

US Premiere • Comedy • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 93 min

Directed by: Nicolas Benamou, Philippe Lacheau

Written by: Julien Arruti, Nicolas Benamou, Philippe Lacheau, Pierre Lacheau

Cinematography: Antoine Marteau

Film Editing: Olivier Michaut-Alchourrou

Original Score: Michael Tordjman, Maxime Desprez

Produced by: Christophe Cervoni (Axel Films), Marc Fiszman (Madame Films)

Cast: Philippe Lacheau (Franck), Alice David (Sonia), Vincent Desagnat (Ernest), Tarek Boudali (Sam), Christian Clavier (Alain), Julien Arruti (Alex), Grégoire Ludig (Paul), David Marsais (Jean)

International Sales: TF1 International • tf1international.com

Just one-and-a-half years after Babysitting found box office gold in France, the boys are back with a sequel, and ready to double down on the mayhem. This time they export their antics to a quiet, upscale eco-resort in the Brazilian rainforest. Trying to get serious with his life, Franck agrees to finally meet his girlfriend Sonia's father, Alain, the pompous director of the resort. Without thinking it through, Franck invites his wrecking crew, Sam, Ernest, and Alex, along for the vacation of their lives. It's not the smartest move, because soon his best buds are sabotaging his attempts to prove his worthiness to the potential father-in-law. The most damning evidence comes in the form of a GoPro camera found deep in the jungle - it's disturbing but hilarious footage, the only clue in the mysterious disappearance of the gang. Tongue-in-cheek adventure meets cheeky sketch comedy, with surprisingly combustible results.

Before the editing was complete on Babysitting (COLCOA 2014), the same team of writers was already at work on the screenplay for All Gone South. This time, actor/co-writer/co-director Philippe Lacheau took the American survival reality TV show Man vs. Wild as the inspiration. The filmmakers' early commitment to doing all the stunts in real life, as in Man vs. Wild, led to some harrowing real life moments, including jumping headfirst from airplanes at high altitudes. Lacheau, along with co-writer Julien Arruti and actor Tarek Boudali, first gained notoriety as members of the French TV comedy troupe La Bande à Fifi. Before working on the Babysitting films, co-writer/co-director Nicolas Benamou made his directorial debut with the comedy feature, De l'huile sur le feu (2011). Co-writer Pierre Lacheau is the brother of Philippe Lecheau.

Quotes:

"...willing to go anywhere to land a laugh."

- Jordan Mitzner, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

 

FANNY'S JOURNEY/ Le Voyage de Fanny

World Premiere • Drama, war • France, Belgium, 2016

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 95 min

Directed by: Lola Doillon

Written by: Lola Doillon, Anne Peyregne

Cinematography: Pierre Cottereau

Film Editing: Valérie Deseine

Produced by: Saga Blanchard (Origami Films), Marie de Lussigny (Bee Films)

Cast: Léonie Souchaud (Fanny), Cécile de France (Madame Forman), Stéphane De Groodt (Jean), Fantine Harduin (Erika), Juliane Lepoureau (Georgette)

International Sales: Indie Sales • indiesales.eu

Release date in France: May 18, 2016

COLCOA's audience will be the first in the world to see this poignant story of a brave and resourceful young girl leading a small band of orphans through Nazi-occupied Europe. Based on the autobiography of Fanny Ben Ami, the journey starts in 1939. After the arrest of her father in Paris, Fanny and her younger sisters, Erica and Georgette, are sent to a refectory for Jewish children in a neutral zone. For a time, she and her new friends are safe, but the war catches up to them soon enough, forcing them to flee. Fanny, now all of 13 years-old, has always relied on adults to take care of her, but as Mussolini's Italy collapses and the chaos of war closes in, Fanny has to be the adult for a group of eight children. Hounded on all sides, and with nothing but her wits and her newly discovered fearlessness, Fanny resolves to do whatever it takes to get her young charges safely to the Swiss border. Fanny's Journey is a tale of survival seen through the eyes of children coming-of-age amidst the horrors of WWII.

This is the third feature from writer/director Lola Doillon and her most ambitious to date. Her debut, Et toi t'es sur qui?, is a coming-of-age romantic drama that screened in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section in 2007.  Doillon followed that up with the psychological drama In Your Hands (2010), starring Kristin Scott Thomas. Doillon wrote both of her previous films, but here she collaborated with veteran TV writer Anne Peyregne to tackle Fanny Ben Ami's epistolary autobiography. Filmmaking was the Doillon family business. Her mother is editor Noelle Boisson, and her father is director Jacques Doillon, with whom she got her start as an assistant director. Now married to director Cedric Klapisch, Doillon is keeping the tradition going. In addition to her feature work, Doillon is branching out into TV. In 2015 she directed two episodes of the new France 2 show, Call My Agent, screening in COLCOA's Television section this year.

MONDAY APRIL 25

DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR / La Folie des grandeurs

U.S. Premiere (restored version) • Comedy • France, 1971

DCP • 1.66 • Mono • Color • 110 min

Directed by: Gérard Oury

Written by: Gérard Oury, Danièle Thompson, Marcel Jullian

Cinematography: Henri Decaë

Film Editing: Alber Jurgenson

Original Score: Michel Polnareff

Produced by: Alain Poiré

Cast: Louis de Funès (Don Salluste de Bazan), Yves Montand (Blaze), Alice Sapritch (Dona Juana), Karin Schubert (The Queen)

 

International Sales: Gaumont • Gaumont.fr

 

To mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of the great Yves Montand, COLCOA proudly presents the international premiere of this restored classic. Montand is paired with comedic giant Louis de Funès in an historical spoof of the Victor Hugo play, Ruy Blas. De Funès plays Don Salluste, an irascible nobleman commissioned to collect taxes in the farthest reaches of the kingdom. In truth, the Queen has exiled him for his appalling wickedness and Salluste is now penniless, reduced to wandering the countryside with his loyal Black Knights in search of peasants to tyrannize. But, Salluste has a plan to regain favor with the court, a cunningly simple plan: his valet, Blaze (Montand), will simply seduce the Queen by impersonating Salluste's idealistic cousin Don Caesar. At that point, Salluste will expose the Queen's infidelity, and thus inspire the grateful King to simply reinstate Salluste's privileges. Simple enough?

If the word madcap didn't exist before Louis de Funès, surely someone would have had to invent it for him. Providing a narrative framework for all that manic energy fell to Marcel Juillan and co-writer/director Gérard Oury, who had collaborated on previous de Funès mega-smashes The Sucker (1965) and Don't look Now...We're Being Shot At (1966). For the latter, film Oury enlisted his daughter, writer/director Danièle Thompson, who would collaborate on many of his subsequent projects, including this one. Just as with the previous films, de Funès was to be paired with Bourvil, but the endearing comedian's untimely death forced Oury to risk casting pop singer/actor Yves Montand opposite de Funès. Oury needn't have worried; Montand pulled off his first comedic role with his usual grace and effortlessness. Oury began as an actor before settling into his directing career. His early thrillers have been completely eclipsed by the comedies that made him the most successful filmmaker of his day, holding box-office records that were only broken decades later by James Cameron's Titanic. He was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1991, and the César d'Honneur in 1993.

QUOTES:

"...one of the director's most colorful and beautifully made films."

­- James Travers, Films de France

My KING / Mon Roi

West Coast Premiere • Drama, Romance • France, 2015

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 124 min

Directed by: Maïwenn

Written by: Etienne Comar, Maïwenn

Cinematography: Claire Mathon

Film Editing: Simon Jacquet

Original Score: Stephen Warbeck

Produced by: Les Productions du Trésor, StudioCanal, France 2 Cinéma

Cast: Vincent Cassel (Georgio Milevski), Emmanuelle Bercot (Marie-Antoinette Jézéquel, dite Tony), Louis Garrel (Solal)

International Sales: StudioCanal  • studiocanal.com/en

US Distributor: Film Movement • filmmovement.com

 

This intimate take on a rollercoaster relationship puts all the tropes of romance on its head by looking at it through the eyes of a woman seduced by the male equivalent of a blonde bombshell. Licking her wounds in a convalescent center after an accident-on-purpose on the ski slopes, fortyish lawyer Tony looks back on a tumultuous decade with her dream guy, Georgio. An effortlessly charming restaurateur, Georgio views the world as a stage upon which he is performing his life. Tony obliges with five-star reviews, at least while the passions are in full flush. Only later, when the couple gets down to the business of building a life together, will Georgio's wolfish ego and his inability to fully let go of his womanizing past, begin to tarnish the shine. But even if theirs is a doomed relationship, Tony is about to learn that it doesn't always have to be this way. Vincent Cassel is at his raffish best, and Emmanuelle Bercot won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her heartbreaking portrayal of a woman desperate to fall out of love.

With My King, her fourth feature film, it's perhaps time to stop calling Maïwenn an actress-turned-filmmaker and start calling her simply a filmmaker. Coming off her grittier Cannes Jury Prize-winning ensemble drama Polisse (COLCOA 2011), Maïwenn has put her spin on the classic French romance, and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Daughter of actress Catherine Belkhodja, Maïwenn was raised in the entertainment industry, and began acting as a child;  her career was briefly on hold after she began a relationship with director Luc Besson. Technically, her first film was shooting the making of for Besson's Léo: The Professional (1994). She returned to acting with an autobiographical one-woman show, which led to her real first film, the short I'm an actrice (2004). Maïwenn's co-writer Etienne Comar, has also co-written Of Gods and Men (2010), and Haute Cuisine (COLCOA 2012), among his many producer credits.

QUOTES:

"Maïwenn is concerned first and foremost with her characters, who rank among the most vividly realized of any to have graced the screen in recent memory."

- Peter Debruge, Variety

"...bubbles along engagingly, and with just enough humility and surprisingly daft humor."

- Jessica Kiang, Indiewire

ONE WILD MOMENT / Un moment d'égarement

West Coast Premiere • Comedy/Drama • France, 2015

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 105 min

Directed by: Jean-François Richet

Written by: Lisa Azuelos, Jean-François Richet, Claude Berri (original Screenplay)

Cinematography: Robert Gantz, Pascal Marti

Film Editing: Hervé Schneid

Original Score: Philippe Rombi

Produced by: Thomas Langmann (La Petite Reine)

Cast: Vincent Cassel (Laurent), François Cluzet (Antoine), Alice Isaaz (Marie), Lola Le Lann (Louna)

 

International Sales: Kinology • kinology.eu

Two of France's biggest stars, Vincent Cassel (Mesrine, COLCOA 2009), and François Cluzet ( The Intouchables, COLCOA 2012) come together for the first time in this update of the 1977 Claude Berri film about doting dads and naughty daughters. Forty-something divorcee Laurent joins his old friend Antoine for a summer holiday at Antoine's aging family manor in Corsica. Reluctantly tagging along, are Laurent's and Antoine's beautiful "almost-18" year-old daughters, Marie and Louna. The girls have nothing but boys on their mind, and while Laurent puts on a good show of accepting his daughter's budding adulthood, Antoine shifts into overprotective father mode. When Antoine's daughter makes a Lolita-like play for the attentions of Laurent, she starts a chain reaction that turns the fun in the sun into a minor meltdown.

The plot of One Wild Moment may sound familiar to Americans who saw the 1984 American remake, Blame It On Rio, starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore. For this second retelling, producer Thomas Langmann, Claude Berri's son, invited writer/director Jean-François Richet to take a comic detour from hardboiled action pictures like Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), and his Mesrine diptych. To help him make the transition, Langmann brought in co-writer Lisa Azuelos, who penned the hit coming-of-age comedy LOL in 2008. Richet's working class roots and his love for Russian political masters Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov were inspirations for his politically incendiary first features Inner City (1995), and Ma 6-T va crack-er (1997). Richet will unveil his latest action thriller, Blood Father, starring Mel Gibson, later this year.

QUOTES:

"One Wild Moment is surprisingly modern, refined and moving."

- Geoffrey Crété, CineMan

 "Cassel and Cluzet, both consummate actors, have solid and very believable chemistry."

- Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter

UP FOR LOVE/ Un homme à la hauteur

 

World Premiere • Romantic Comedy • France, 2016

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 98 min

Directed by: Laurent Tirard

Written by: Grégoire Vigneron, Laurent Tirard

Cinematography: Jérôme Alméras

Film Editing: Valérie Deseine

Produced by: Vanessa Van Zuelen, Camille Bonvallet (VVZ Productions), Sidonie Dumas (Gaumont)

Cast: Jean Dujardin (Alexandre), Virginie Efira (Dianne), Cédric Kahn (Bruno)

International Sales: Gaumont • gaumont.fr

Every now and then COLCOA audiences get to see a film even before the French. Scheduled for a May 4th release in France, Up For Love is a high concept romantic comedy from the writer/director of Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia. Belgian rom-com veteran Virginie Efira stars as Dianne, a successful lawyer who's been unlucky in love. She gets an unexpected phone call from a stranger who's found her cell phone and wants to return it. The stranger, Alexandre, is funny and charming, and as the conversation goes on, the two seem to hit it off. They agree to a date of sorts-- to meet and return the lost phone. Dianne arrives at the appointed time with growing expectations, only to be let down, literally, when Alexandre turns out to be so short, he has to jump up to sit in the café chair. Dianne is tempted to walk away on the spot. Problem is, apart from his diminutive stature, Alexandre is the total package. As the pair rises to meet the romantic challenges, not to mention the prejudices of society, Dianne will be forced to decide if Alexandre is man enough for her. Jean Dujardin displays impeccable comic timing as a vertically-challenged Romeo.

Coming off a string of box office successes adapting popular French children's books Le petit Nicolas: Little Nicholas (2009) and its sequel Nicholas on Holiday (2014), as well as Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia (2012), writer/director Laurent Tirard now turns his attention to effects-driven comedy.  Tirard took up the challenge of creating a visually convincing four-foot version of Jean Dujardin, without stepping on the chemistry of his romantic leads.  To adapt his story from the Argentine hit Coraz όn de Le όn (2013) by director Marcos Carnevale, Tirard worked with his long time writing collaborator Grégoire Vigneron. Tirard began as a journalist and critic for the magazine Studio. His book, Moviemakers' Master Class: Private Lessons from the World's Foremost Directors, features interviews with Woody Allen, David Cronenberg, the Coen brothers, and Lars Von Trier, among others. Tirard's debut feature, The Story of My Life, won the COLCOA Audience Award in 2005. He went on to gain international attention for his historical comedy Molière (2007).


COLCOA 2016 TELEVISION PROGRAM NOTES

 

NOTES - in alphabetical order

BORDERLINE  

North American Premiere • TV Movie • Thriller • France, 2015

Blu-ray • Color • 97 min

Directed by: Olivier Marchal

Written by: Olivier Marchal, Christophe Gavat, Laurent Guillaume

Produced by: Dominique Antoine, Philippe Boulègue

Cast: Bruno Wolkowitch (Willy Blain), Catherine Marchal (Catherine Van Roy), Patrick Catalifo (Philippe Jansen), Laure Marsac (Camille Blain)

International Sales: Film & Picture

Original Broadcast: France 2, October 7, 2015

The head of the organized crime division of the Grenoble police is arrested. After 25 years of apparently irreproachable police work, the cat is now the mouse, and for the next four days he will be drilled on evidence pointing to his associations with known criminals, and to the theft of seized drugs, later used to compensate informants. Based on the notorious true case known as the Neyret Affair, this fly-on-the-wall exposé pits a morally uncompromising special investigator against a pragmatic cop willing to cross the line to get the job done. Inspired by Christophe Gavat's autobiography 96 Hours, Borderline is written by former policemen, including the film's director Olivier Marchal ( 36th Precinct, COLCOA 2005).  Incidentally, Marchal hired Michel Neyret as a consultant for his feature film, A Gang Story (COLCOA 2012).

CALL MY AGENT/ Dix pour cent

 

West Coast Premiere • TV Series • Comedy • France, 2015

Blu-ray • Color • Season 1 • 6 x 52 min • Episodes 1&2 

Directed by: Cédric Klapisch (2 episodes), Lola Doillon (2 episodes), Antoine Garceau (2 episodes)

Written by: Dominique Besnehard, Fanny Herrero, Julien Messemackers, Michel Vereecken

Developed by: Fanny Herrero

Produced by: Dominique Besnehard (Mon Voisin Productions), Mother Production, Ce Qui Me Meut

Cast: Camille Cottin (Andréa Martel), Thibault de Montalembert (Mathias Barneville), Grégory Montel (Gabriel Sarda), Liliane Rovère (Arlette Azémar), Fanny Sidney (Camille Valentini).

 

International Sales: TF1International

Original Boadcast: France 2, October 2015

In this acclaimed meta-comedy from France 2 and showrunner Fanny Herrero, four talent agents at the semi-fictitious ASK Agency stop at nothing to hold down the fort after the accidental death of the agency founder. Based on the real-life experiences of former top-tier agent Dominique Besnehard, each episode features stars like Cécile de France, Françoise Fabian, and Nathalie Baye playing ironic versions of themselves as they try to unload their personal and professional baggage onto the backs of Mathias, Gabriel, Andrea, Arlette and young Camille, the naïve trainee watching the comic chaos in utter disbelief. But if managing the ambitions of the stars sometimes seems a tad too ambitious for the team, it's because they all have plenty of baggage of their own.

Call My Agent crowned a year of artistic triumphs brought about by bolder programming decisions at France 2. At the creative reins is veteran showrunner Fanny Herrero, who has established bona fides ranging from period drama, Un village français (2009 -), to the Afghanistan-based sitcom Kabul Kitchen (2012-). Her aide-de-camp is Dominique Besnehard, actor, producer, and, as the former agent to some of France's biggest stars, a man with an inexhaustible supply of anecdotes from which to draw comedic inspiration. Besnehard took his original idea to Canal+ in 2006, where the project lost momentum in development. France 2 exhumed the show in 2011, agreeing to green-light with very little creative intervention. Putting the visual signature on the show is prolific director Cédric Klapisch, whom many will know from his comedic hit features L'Auberge espagnole (2002, COLCOA 2013) and Chinese Puzzle (COLCOA 2013). Always juggling several projects, Klapisch directed two episodes of Call My Agent while prepping his 13 th feature, Le vin et le vent, currently in post.

 

 

CARPETS AND CHAOS / Les Pieds dans le Tapis

 

International Premiere • TV movie • Dramatic comedy • France, 2016

Blu-ray • Color • 90 min

Directed by: Nader Takmil Homayoun

Written by: Philippe Blasband, Nader Takmil Homayoun

Produced by: Nicolas Blanc (Agat Films & Cie)

Cast: Golab Adineh, Michel Vuillermoz, Aurélia Petit, Babak Hamidian

International Sales: Arte Sales

Original Broadcast: Arte, 2016

Franco-Iranian writer/director Nader Takmil Homayoun received the Venice Film Festival's International Critics' Week Award forTehran, his 2009 debut feature delving into human trafficking in the seedy streets of the Iranian capital. Now he turns to lighter fare, collaborating with Philippe Blasband, with this comedic take on a conservative Iranian family giddy with culture shock in the postcard-perfect village of Brive-la-Gaillarde. For five generations, the Farshtchi family has been selling carpets in the Tehran Bazaar. The patriarch of the family is thought to be in Korea for spa treatments and mud baths. But when notice of his sudden heart attack and death arrives, it's coming from the other side of the world. The family is mystified. What was he doing in France? Did he have a mistress? His widow and son travel to repatriate the body, not knowing that their search for answers will take them on an adventure, and reveal a surprising hidden life.

The Disappearance/ Disparue  

North American Premiere • Mini-series • Drama • France, 2014

Blu-ray • Color • 8 X 52 min • Episodes 1&2

Directed by: Charlotte Brändström

Written by: Marie Deshaires and Catherine Touzet

Produced by: Iris Bucher (QUAD Television)

Cast: Pierre-François Martin-Laval  (Julien Morel, father), Alix Poisson  (Florence Morel, mother), François-Xavier Demaison (Commander Bertrand Molina)

International Sales: Zodiac Rights

Original Broadcast Date: France 2, from April 22, 2015

Beautiful 17 year-old Leah has disappeared under suspicious circumstances. The detective brought in to investigate is an outsider in Lyon, having left Paris under a cloud. He knows that answers will most likely be found in Leah's inner circle, but the deeper he probes, the wider his investigation becomes. The puzzle pieces slowly form a picture of familial dysfunction, and Leah herself emerges as the darkest mystery of all. Freely adapted from the 2007 Spanish series Desaparecida, and in the footsteps of The Killing and Broadchurch, this atmospheric look at a family turned inside out, first by loss, then by suspicion, deftly balances suspense and intimate drama.

THE SECRET OF ELISE/ Le Secret d'Elise

 

North American Premiere • TV Mini-series • Supernatural Drama • France, 2016

Blu-ray • Color • 6 x 52 min • Episodes 1 & 2

Directed by: Alexandre Laurent, Samir Boitard, Mathieu Simonet, Mehdi Meskar

Written by: Elsa Marpeau, Marie Vinoy, Marie Deshaires, Catherine Touzet

Developed by: Stephen Greenhorn ( Marchlands), created by David Schulner ( The Oaks)

Produced by: Iris Bucher (Quad Television), TF1

Cast: Bruno Bénabar, Julie de Bona, Hélène de Fougerolles.

International Sales: Fox Television

Original Broadcast: TF1, February 2016

On the heels of the hit French series The Returned (2012), TF1 enters the fray with this ambitious supernatural saga that follows the lives of three families in three time periods: 1969, 1986, and 2013. Each family has lived in the same beautiful Provencal house.  In 2013, a young couple moves into the house, only to discover that it is already occupied by the ghost of a little girl. In 1986, another family is forced to deal with the daughter's disturbing friendship with that same mysterious ghost. What were the circumstances of the girl's death, and is she the only thing that connects these families across time? The Oaks, as it was originally titled, was first developed in America by television writer, David Schulner;  the pilot debuted in 2008.  The idea reemerged as the British mini-series, Marchlands (2011) before making its way across the channel. 

STOLEN BABIES / Bébés volés

International Premiere • TV Movie • Drama • France, 2016

Blu-ray • Color • 90 min

Directed by: Alain Berliner

Written by: Julie Jézéquel

Produced by: Marie-Hélène Pages            (Capa Drama Films)

Cast: Sandrine Bonnaire (Ines Barras), Hélène De Saint Père, (Helen Carbona), Philippe Lelièvre (Pierre Carbona)

International Sales: Capa Drama Films

Original Broadcast: France 2, 2016

Sandrine Bonaire hits all the right notes as Ines Barras, a refugee of Francoist Spain. As a teenager, Ines gave birth in a convent. Believing the child was stillborn, Ines left Spain for France, where she has lived most of her adult life. Now, 30 years later, Ines discovers that the sisters of the convent lied to her. She returns to Spain, hoping to discover the whereabouts of her lost child. But the search leads her to a larger story: a policy of child abduction and trafficking under the auspices of the Church, and with the cooperation of the state. Under the Franco regime, children of "red" parents were abducted and placed in the homes of Francoist families to be "racially corrected". But how could the practice continue long after Spain has returned to democracy? And how has it been kept secret for all these years?

For many Americans, writer/director Alain Berliner seemed to come out of nowhere to direct the prescient transgender drama Ma vie en rose (1997). The film won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and led to a foray into Hollywood with his Demi-Moore starring thriller, Passion of Mind (2000). But before he sat in the director's chair, the Belgian-born filmmaker scripted a handful of original TV movies. Since 2008, Berliner has been working almost exclusively in TV, directing movie adaptations of some of France's great authors, including Simenon, The House By the Canal (2003) and Balzac, La peau de chagrin (2010). In addition to his long format work, Berliner also directed 6 episodes of the comedy series Clara Sheller in 2008. Writer Julie Jézéquel has enjoyed a successful writing career with credits on 15 TV movies and series.  She is also known as an actor, notably for Patrice Leconte's Tandem (1987), and Claude Goretta's L'Ombre (1991), and more recently for dozens of TV movies and series.

THE WALL-CROSSER/ Le Passe-Muraille

International Premiere • TV Movie • Comedy, fantasy • France, 2016

Blu-ray • Color • 16/9 • Dolby 5.1 • 94 min

Directed by: Dante Desarthe

Written by: Dante Desarthe, from Le Passe-Muraille by Marcel Aymé

Produced by: Les Films du Poisson

Cast: Denis Podalydès, Marie Dompnier, Scali Delpeyrat, Claude Perron, Maryvonne Schiltz

International Sales: Lagardère Studios Distribution

Original Broadcast: Arte, 2016

The Arte-produced, Dante Desarthe-directed Ponzi's Scheme (COLCOA 2015) was among the first crop of TV movies presented at COLCOA. Now Desarthe is back with another Arte-produced adaptation, this time taking more comedic inspiration from a short story by beloved French novelist, Marcel Aymé. Denis Podalydès, who over the course of his long career has portrayed the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre, André Malraux and Nicolas Sarkozy, stars as Émile Dutilleul, a modest office worker living a quiet, loveless life in Montmartre. Then he meets Ariane, an office newbie whose vivaciousness lights up his dull existence like a shooting star. As a matter of fact, Émile discovers that he now possesses the remarkable ability to pass through walls with ease. For the longest time, Émile's been wondering what to do with his life. But with new possibilities opening before him, he suddenly has to ask himself what he shouldn't do.

WOMAN UNDER INFLUENCE / L'Emprise

 

North American Premiere • TV Movie • Drama • France, 2015

Blu-ray • Color • 98 min

Directed by: Claude-Michel Rome

Written by: Claude-Michel Rome, based on Alexandra Lange's autobiography.

Produced by: Jean-Benoît Gillig (Leonis Productions)

Cast: Odile Vuillemin, Marc Lavoine, Fred Testot, Micky Sebastian

 

International Sales: TF1 International

Original Broadcast: TF1, January 26, 2015

Veteran TV writer/director Claude-Michel Rome scored a huge 8 million viewers for his wrenching domestic violence drama based on the sensational real-life murder trial of Alexandra Lange. Odile Vuellemin is emotionally compelling as Lange, a woman who at 18 falls under the control of Marcello Guillemin, the first man with whom she is romantically involved. From the start there was the occasional jealous rage, but after their marriage these turned into regular beatings. As the years pass, physical abuse is compounded by psychological violence when he threatens the safety of their children. Lange's attempts to get help from friends, neighbors, the police, and even social workers are all met with inadequate responses. But if society won't help her to escape the situation, how will it react when she takes matters into her own hands?




Posted By Suzanne on April 18, 2016 02:17 pm | Permalink