COLCOA French Film Festival to Honor Melanie Laurent + Announces the COLCOA Classics Line-Up

COLCOA French Film Festival to Honor Melanie Laurent +  Announces the COLCOA Classics Line-Up

Today the Franco-American Cultural Fund have announced that Mélanie Laurent will be honored as their "Focus on a Filmmaker" at the COLCOA French Film Festival. Additionally, they have announced the five films that comprise the "COLCOA Classic Series." These selections will be presented as part of COLCOA's 22nd edition, which will run Monday, April 23 through Monday, April 30, with all screenings taking place at the Directors Guild of America. All films in the COLCOA Classics are free to the public. The complete line-up including films and series competing for the COLCOA Awards 2018 will be announced on April 3rd.

FOCUS ON A FILMMAKER: MÉLANIE LAURENT presented in association with Gravitas Films, Rialto Pictures, Unifrance and Variety
COLCOA will honor writer, director and actress Mélanie Laurent on Thursday, April 26, with a special presentation of her first film THE ADOPTED/LES ADOPTÉS as part of the COLCOA Classics series. The film premiered at COLCOA in 2012 and won the COLCOA First Feature Award. Following the first screening, Laurent will participate in a Happy Hour Talk dedicated to her career. The evening will conclude with the U.S. Premiere of Laurent's latest film DIVING/PLONGER that will be released in the U.S later this year by Gravitas Film.

THE ADOPTED/LES ADOPTÉS (2011) is the story of a family. A family of women often tossed about by life, but who have managed with time to ride out the storms. Men have little place in the women's lives and it's therefore quite natural that when one of the women falls in love, things come asunder. THE FAMILY equilibrium has to be redefined and everyone strives to do so as best they can. But fate allows them to barely catch their breath before imposing another reality. THE FAMILY must then learn everything anew. The mechanics of adoption must once again be put into action, obliging each person to change places. Written by Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Perez, Christophe Deslandes; directed by Mélanie Laurent; with Marie Denarnaud, Denis Ménochet, Mélanie Laurent, Clémentine Célarié. The film is distributed in the U.S. by Rialto Pictures.


César and Paz are madly in love. Paz, a Spanish photographer, is always looking for new experiences. But César, previously a war journalist, is looking for peace and quiet. Paz gets pregnant and the perspective of motherhood smothers her. Each day she becomes more distant, lost in a quest she can't quite grasp herself. Until she suddenly leaves behind César and their baby with no explanation. Written by Christophe Deslandes, Julien Lambroschini, Mélanie Laurent, Christophe Ono-dit-Biot; directed by Mélanie Laurent; with Gilles Lellouche, María Valverde, Ibrahim Ahmed. The film will be distributed in the U.S. later this year by Gravitas Films.


THE DINNER GAME/LE DINER DE CONS (1998 - Comedy - Written and directed by Francis Veber.) 20th Anniversary presentation in association with Gaumont.

A few well-heeled folk each bring a dimwit along who is to talk about his pastime at a weekly dinner. Each member seeks to introduce a champion dumbbell. Pierre, an avid participant of the game, runs into one problem after another that devilishly compromises his secrets, turning the tables on him and his objective, which diverges as the movie progresses. Firstly, wishing to be certain he has selected a winner, he invited his guest, Mr. Pignon, to meet him at home before setting off; but night of all nights, Pierre has put his back out and it is questionable whether he can manage to get to the dinner. The blundering Mr. Pignon will continually spring forward to help relieve Pierre of his troubles, which have drastically compounded, pointing in the direction of friends, taxes and women, and Pierre's dimwit Pignon accordingly will prove his substance to the end. Written and directed by Francis Veber, with Jacques Villeret, Thierry Lhermitte, Francis Huster.

THE FLESH OF THE ORCHID/LA CHAIR DE L'ORCHIDEE (1975 - drama co-written and directed by Patrice Chéreau) - International Premiere of RESTORED version presented in association with Pyramide Productions and Tamasa Distribution.

A disturbed young woman is kept prisoner in a castle by her aunt for her money. The game-keeper, her guardian, tries to rape her but she escapes. In her flight she meets a man also running away, from two killers. Written by James Hadley Chase, Jean-Claude Carrière, Patrice Chéreau; directed by Patrice Chéreau; with Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer, Edwige Feuillère.

GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEF/PREPAREZ VOS MOUCHOIRS (1978 - Comedy written and directed by Bertrand Blier) - International Premiere of RESTORED version presented in association with Cohen Media Group (40th Anniversary).

Solange is depressed and sick. Friends and neighbors are convinced she needs a child. Her husband enlists the help of another man as her lover, Stéphane, in hopes of getting her pregnant. He fails to cheer her up or impregnate her. The three open a summer camp for children where Solange meets 13-year-old Christian. Christian cheers her up, becomes her lover, and fathers a child by her. Written and directed by Bertrand Blier, with Gérard Depardieu, Carole Laure, Patrick Dewaere, Michel Serrault. The film will be distributed in the United States later this year by Cohen Media Group.

PEPPERMINT SODA/DIABOLO MENTHE (1977 - Comedy, drama co-written and directed by Diane Kurys) - International Premiere of RESTORED version presented in association with Cohen Media Group (40th Anniversary of the U.S. release)

In the fall of 1963, Anne is becoming a teenager. She lives in Paris with her mother and her older sister, Frédérique. They're just back from summer at the beach with their father. School starts. For Frédérique it's the year of her first serious love, her first foray into politics (the Algerian question and "ban the bomb"), her first kiss from an older man, her first friend who runs away, and her first loss of friendship over values. For Anne, who watches her sister closely, it's a year of her first period and of learning to talk to boys, dealing with unfair teachers, and sorting things out with mom after getting in trouble. Written by Diane Kurys and Alain Le Henry; directed by diane Kurys, with Eléonore Klarwein, Odile Michel, Anouck Ferjac. The film will be distributed in the United States later this year by Cohen Media Group.

The COLCOA Classics series is free with no reservation on a first come first served basis.

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 Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD) and the Film and TV Office of the French Embassy in Los Angeles, the CNC, TV France International, and Unifrance.

About Mélanie Laurent

Multitalented actress-turned-filmmaker Mélanie Laurent began her career almost as a lark. At the tender age of 16, visiting the set of Asterix and Obelix, she caught mega-star Gérard Depardieu's eye. He casually asked if she'd like to be in a film. She nonchalantly replied, "Why not?" And he immediately cast her in The Bridge (1999), which he starred in and co-directed with Frédéric Auburtin. The daughter of a ballet teacher and a voice-over actor (her father is THE VOICE of Ned Flanders in the French version of The Simpsons), Laurent's breakthrough role came with her powerful performance in Philippe Lioret's Don't Worry, I'm Fine (2006), which earned her both the César Award for Most Promising Actress and the Prix Romy Schneider.

Best known to American audiences for her roles in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards (2009), Mike Mills' Beginners (2011) and Louis Leterrier's Now You See Me (2013), the actress has appeared in some 40 films to date, including Jacques Audiard's The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005), Cédric Klapisch's Paris (COLCOA 2008), Radu Mihaileanu's The Concert (COLCOA 2010) and Billie August's Night Train to Lisbon (2013). Her most recent films as an actress include Christian Carion's drama My Son (2017) and Laurent Tirard's Return of the Hero (2018).

In 2008, Laurent moved behind the camera, as writer/director of two shorts, De moins et moins (Official Competition, Cannes 2008) and À ses pieds, the latter part of the Canal+ erotic short film series, X Femmes. A distinctly feminist - yet not necessarily political - filmmaker, Laurent makes films that resonate a very female point of view. While universal in scope, they sensitively explore subjects that are both personal and revolve around issues that profoundly touch upon the lives and experience of women.

She made her feature directorial début with The Adopted (Audience Award winner, COLCOA 2012), which tells the story of a close-knit family of women that's turned upside-down when one of them falls in love with a man. Her powerful second film, Breathe (International Critics' Week, Cannes 2014), recounts the volatile tale of the intense friendship between two teenage girls. And her most recent feature, Diving (2017), which premieres at this year's COLCOA festival, delves into the murky waters of maternal love and artistic freedom.

An impassioned ecological activist, Laurent joined forces with Cyril Dion to co-direct the buoyant, hugely successful environmental doc, Tomorrow (Best Documentary Award winner, COLCOA 2016), which went on to snag the César Award for Best Documentary.

Laurent most recently directed Nic Pizzolatto's adaptation of his own first novel, the thriller, Galveston (2018), which premiered in March at this year's South by Southwest Film Festival and is soon to be released worldwide.

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