September 27, 2019
Red Carpet Area at COLCOA French Film Festival, 9/23/19

I had a wonderful time at the COLCOA French Film Festival last Monday night.  This is an outstanding festival offering top-notch films and events, and delicious food and drinks at the receptions.  It’s really one of the finest and most elegant film festivals I’ve ever attended.  And I’ve had more than my share!

COLCOA runs through Sept. 28 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, California.  The theatre there itself has recently been renovated with the expert input of several top directors.  As a result, to see a film in this theatre is an exceptional experience.  First of all, when they darken the lights, it is almost completely pitch black.  The sound is excellent, as are the theatre details and very comfortable seats.

The Opening Night began with a wonderful reception with terrific food and drinks.  Then we lined up to enter the newly renovated theatre.  François Truffart, the Festival Executive Producer and Artistic Director, made a speech opening the festival.  Paul Williams, the famous musical composer, also spoke.  I met him briefly before his talk, and he could not have been kinder.

Finally they screened the opening night film, Les Misérables.  This is an updated version of Victor Hugo’s classic film, set in the slums outside Paris.  It’s a dark, disturbing film but vitally important to show how easy it is to let gang warfare take over peace and calm.

The film, directed by Ladj Ly, has been submitted by France to the Oscars for the  2020 Best International Feature Film Award, and is generating a great deal of buzz.  It certainly captivated the COLCOA audience here.  The US release date for Les Misérables is October 18, 2019, and is being distributed by Amazon Studios.

All in all, a most enjoyable evening spent with some of the most elegant film aficionados on the planet.

The COLCOA French Film Festival continues on through September 28 at the Directors Guild of America.  Tickets and information can be found here: colcoa.org.  More photos are available on my Flicker page here flickr.com/joybennett.

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