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City of Lights, City of Angels 2011

The 15th City of Lights, City of Angels, a festival with both a handy acronym, COL•COA, and a winning subtitle, "A Week of French Film Premieres in Hollywood," has opened with Philippe Le Guay's Service Entrance and closes on Sunday with Dany Boon's Nothing to Declare. In all, 34 features and 26 shorts will be screened, and we're teaming up with the festival to present five of those shorts for free. All five have been made by students of La fémis in Paris (whose alumni, by the way, include Laurent Cantet, Costa-Gavras, Claire Denis, Louis Malle, Arnaud Desplechin, Claude Miller, François Ozon and Alain Resnais).  You can view our offering here.

In Brice Pancot's À cor et à cir (image above), a woman who's just turned her car over is discovered by a man and his son; see the teaser here. In Marion Desseigne-Ravel's Uniform (Les Murs), a shy girl is fascinated by another who isn't. Vincent Cardona's comedy Anywhere Out of the World (Coucou les nudges), a second-place Cinefondation Award-winner in Cannes last year, sees Frida falling for Hans, who only has eyes for the sky. Sarah Cunningham's Like Love is a documentary about a young man who returns home for Passover. And in Olivier Demangel's Bird of Prey (Antonin les Oiseaux), a hunter meets a woman who'll change the way he goes about living his life.

More COL•COA highlights for those in Los Angeles: Cédric Klapisch's My Piece of the Pie, Guillaume Canet's Little White Lies, with Marion Cotillard (by the way, Canet was profiled in the Independent the other day and Cotillard is interviewed today in Little White Lies), Pierre Salvadori's Beautiful Lies, with Nathalie Baye and Audrey Tautou, and Thierry Klifa's His Mother's Eyes, with Catherine Deneuve.

Previewing the festival for the Los Angeles Times, Susan King notes that "Bertrand Blier, who won the foreign-language-film Oscar for 1978's Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, will be feted at the festival with a screening of his 1979 black comedy, Cold Cuts, as well as his newest film, A Clink of Ice. Blier will also take part in a one-hour moderated conversation." And COL•COA "will also highlight such vintage films as Jacques Demy's Lola, as well as a film from director by Claude Chabrol, who died last year." The festival's asked Martin Scorsese to make the selection and he's gone for Les bonnes femmes (1960).

Update, 4/18: The Audience Award goes to Service Entrance. Critics Award: Benoît Jacquot's Deep in the Woods. Audience Special Prize: Isabelle Partiot's Toscan: The French Touch. Critics Special Prize: Marc Fitoussi's Copacabana. Audience Special Mention: Jean Becker's My Afternoons with Margueritte. Critics Special Mention: My Piece of the Pie. First Feature Award: Kad Merad's Monsieur Papa.

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