The Franco-American Cultural Fund, a partnership of DGA, MPA, SACEM and WGA West, recently announced the 23rd COLCOA French Film Festival’s program that includes world, international, North American, U.S. and Los Angeles premieres. 

The festival, which typically is held prior to the Festival de Cannes each year at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood, moved its dates to September 23-28 to accommodate the venue’s elaborate renovation, and for the first time, making it part of Hollywood awards season.

A special media event to announce the 2019 program was recently held at the French Consul General’s Residence in Beverly Hills, with a panel featuring COLCOA deputy director Anouchka van Riel, COLCOA executive producer and artistic director François Truffart, former president WGAW Howard A. Rodman, and film critic Amy Nicholson, moderated by Variety’s Peter DeBruge.

l-r Anouchka van Riel, François Truffart, Howard A. Rodman, Amy Nicholson, Peter DeBruge.

Also in attendance were DGA board members Taylor Hackford and Michael Mann, who described the renovation and state-of-the-art technical improvements to the venue and its theatres.

Different from past years, many of the films presented at the 2019 Festival de Cannes will now have their North American or US premieres at COLCOA, and this fact was very evident with many of the panel members mistakenly referring to “this year’s Cannes” when they actually meant “COLCOA.”

“This high-profile program includes several films from Cannes and Venice programmed for the first time in the U.S., as well as films presented before their release in France,” said Truffart.  “It shows the faithfulness of distributors, producers and sponsors, who strongly believe that COLCOA has become an established event in Hollywood.”

COLCOA is considered the largest festival dedicated to French films and series worldwide and will feature over 25 film premieres in competition for the COLCOA Cinema Awards. 

The festival will open on September 23rd with the U.S. premiere of Amazon Studio’s “Les Miserables” by Ladj Ly, winner of the Cannes Jury Prize and the 2019 D’Ornano-Valenti Prize. 

Also featured will be films by industry veterans, including Academy Award® winner Costa Gavras’ political thriller “Adults In The Room” (North American Premiere); Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne’s drama “Young Ahmed” (North American Premiere); Cédric Klapisch’s new pursuit of love “Someone, Somewhere” (North American Premiere); Cédric Kahn’s dysfunctional family portrait “Happy Birthday” (North American Premiere), starring Catherine Deneuve; and Nicolas Boukhrief’s thriller based on Pierre Lemaitre’s novel “Three Days And A Life” (International Premiere).

Newcomers include Antoine Raimbault’s courtroom drama “Conviction” (Los Angeles Premiere)andMikhaël Hers post-traumatic stress disorder drama “Amanda”(Los Angeles Premiere), as well as several films written and directed by women including Andréa Bescond’s autobiographical feature (made with Eric Métayer) about her sexual abuse as a child, titled “Little Tickles” (Los Angeles Premiere);Mounia Meddour’s Algerian civil war drama “Papicha” (North American Premiere and Algeria’s official entry for the Oscars);Claire Burger’s family drama “Real Love” (Los Angeles Premiere,  Fabienne Godet’s powerful drama about recovery “Our Wonderful Lives”  (U.S. Premiere); Marie-Sophie Chambon’s debut feature “Stars By The Pound” (North American Premiere); and Sarah Suco’s autobiographical film “The Dazzled” (International Premiere).

The COLCOA Classics will include an homage to late writer and director Agnès Varda and French composer Michel Legrand with a special presentation, in association with Rialto Pictures, of the 1962 breakout film “Cloe from 5 to 7.”  

Presented with the support of Unifrance, 16 short films will be in competition for the COLCOA Short Awards, to be presented every afternoon from September 24-27.  Additionally, the competition will be available in the U.S. after the festival on the cinema-on-demand program of official festival partner TV5 Monde. 

Celebrating its 12th year, the popular COLCOA High School Screening Program will run for five days during the festival with the Los Angeles premiere of the musical coming-of-age tale “In Your Hands” by Ludovic Bernard. More than 3,000 Southern California students and teachers are expected to attend free screenings and conversations, as well as participate in a student film critic contest. The program is produced in partnership with ELMA – European Languages and Movies in America, with the support of American Association of Teachers of French – Southern California. Additionally, master classes will take place at several film schools across the city with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US and ELMA.  

COLCOA French Film Festival is presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a unique collaboration between the Directors Guild of America, the Motion Picture Association, the Writers Guild of America West, and France’s Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM). COLCOA is also supported by France’s Society of Authors, Directors and Producers (L’ARP) the Film and TV Office of the French Embassy in Los Angeles, TV France International, and Unifrance. 

COLCOA French Film Festival is sponsored by Air Tahiti Nui, Bank Of The West/ BNP Paribas, Sling & TV5MONDE, Variety (Official Sponsors); Barnes, Barnstormer, France Télévisions, Los Angeles Times, 89.3 KPCC, Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter (Premier Sponsors); Brumont, Champagne Didier Chopin, ELMA, Sunset Marquis, Titra Film, West Coast Event Productions, Wine Wine Situation (Major Sponsors); Alliance Française de Los Angeles, Cinando, D’Alessio Law Group, French American Chamber of Commerce, Gaumont, Karine & Jeff, Laemmle, LA Philharmonic, Marché du Film/Festival de Cannes, Miraval/Vineyard Brands/La Vielille Ferme, Paul M. Young Fine Wines, Saint Germain, Vital Proteins (Platinum Sponsors); Avène, Cinelife, France-Amérique, French Morning, Gayot, Gaumont, Klorane, La Chouquette, Lycée International Los Angeles, Le Pain Quotidien, MAC, René Furterer, Rosenthal, RS Eyeshop, Snowdonia, Vizo (Supporting Sponsors), Alan Rosenbach, Black Flour, Brûlée Château de Berne, Holy Quiche, International Services For Artists, La Boulisterie, Mulholland Distilling (Community Sponsors).

For the full program and ticket information, please visit