COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL, "A Week of Premieres in Hollywood", was founded in 1997 by The Franco-American Cultural Fund, a unique collaborative effort of 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 l’Association des Auteurs-Réalisateurs-Producteurs (ARP), the Film and TV Office of the French Embassy in Los Angeles (French Consulate), the CNC, TVFI, and UNIFRANCE.
COLCOA is the acronym of "City of Light, City of Angels" the original name of an event celebrating relationships between filmmakers from two capital cities of cinema. Since 2015, the festival’s name has officially become COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL.
Since the beginning, The festival has been taking place in April in the prestigious theaters of the Directors Guild of America on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood (3 theaters (600, 160 and 37 seats), a 210 capacity lounge and a 1,500 capacity lobby).
COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL is committed to promoting new French films in the U.S. and to showcasing in Hollywood the vitality and the diversity of French cinema, television, shorts, web series and VR programs.
In 22 years, 843 films have been selected. The festival has continually evolved to become a 9-day showcase of at least 80 films, with a capacity of more than 25,000 in 2018, an average of 3,000 attendees per day and an occupancy rate of 92%. In 2018, 23,000 attendees COLCOA, which has become the third largest Film Festival in Los Angeles, the largest film event taking place in April in Los Angeles, the largest annual French Cultural event in the U.S. and the largest festival of French films dedicated to Cinema and Television in the world.
Since 2004, the selection is entirely made of premieres. Several high-profile features presented at COLCOA are World Premieres, International Premieres, North American Premieres or U.S. Premieres. The showcase is also known for presenting films several months before their commercial release in the U.S., raising the event’s profile among U.S. distributors who now use the event as a platform to launch and promote their film in Hollywood.
Its exclusive program has made COLCOA an anticipated date in the industry calendar and now the largest French film festival in the world. Scheduled a few weeks after the Academy Awards® and before the Cannes Film Festival, COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL has become a prestigious event in Los Angeles.
The COLCOA audience is mainly made of film industry professionals (74%), including Academy Awards® members: directors, writers, distributors, producers, agents, exhibitors, critics and jour- nalists. COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL has developed partnerships with organizations like IFTA, The Cannes Film Festival, Film Independent, Women in Film, The American Cinematheque, SAG, and since 2008, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes) and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Additionally, the festival is more than a film industry event. It has become popular in the Greater Los Angeles community and most of the screenings are booked several weeks before the event.
In 2008, an educational program was launched to promote foreign films among young American audiences in association with E.L.M.A (European Languages & Movies in America). More than 100 high schools from Los Angeles and Orange Counties have already participated in the program. In 2010, a master class program was introduced for colleges, film schools and universities. In 2019, the festival will welcome its 26,000th student.
Since 2015, a part of the COLCOA SHORT FILM selection is broadcasted after the festival on the Cinema on Demand service of TV5 Monde in the United States.
One reason for the success of COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL is its media coverage. In addition to partnerships with Variety, LA Times, LA Weekly, KPCC-89.3 FM, DailyMotion, TV5 Monde/Time Warner Cable, and Indiewire, the festival has continuously developed relationships with journalists and critics. Thanks to a specific accreditation program, which includes press screenings and press sessions with filmmakers and actors, journalists have a priority access to screenings and various social events during the week. In 2017, 70 journalists, professional bloggers and critics were accredited.
More than 200 French writers, directors and producers have presented their film(s) at COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL . Among them are Olivier Assayas, Bertrand Blier, Dany Boon, Stéphane Brizé, Laurent Cantet, Clovis Cornillac, Cedric Klapisch, Alain Corneau, Costa-Gavras, Julie Delpy, Claire Denis, Arnaud Desplechin, Anne Fontaine, Michael Hazanavicius, Mathieu Kassovitz, Philippe Le Guay, Claude Lelouch, Claude Miller, Bertrand Tavernier, Danièle Thompson, and Francis Veber.
Many celebrities have attended COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL, including Sveva Alviti, Rosanna Arquette, Nathalie Baye, Berenice Bejo, Halle Berry, Jaqueline Bisset, George Chakiris, Marion Cotillard, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Alexandre Desplat, Herbie Hancock, Johnny Hallyday, Alexandra Lamy, Michel Legrand, Helen Mirren, Demi Moore, Pierre Niney, Vanessa Paradis, Jeremie Renier, Gena Rowlands, Sharon Stone, Omar Sy, Charlize Theron, Lambert Wilson as well as prominent American writers and directors: Wes Craven, Taylor Hackford, John Landis, Michael Mann and Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino or Alexander Payne.
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