I was thrilled to attend the reception last night for the upcoming COLCOA French Film Festival held at the French Consul Residence in Beverly Hills. This elegant event introduced the upcoming COLCOA Film Festival coming up April 24th to May 2 to be held at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. COLCOA stands for City of Light, City of Angels and is a film festival highlighting French films, TV shows, web series and shorts. They even have some short virtual reality productions available for the first time this year!
Francois Truffart, the COLCOA Executive Producer and Artistic Director, gave a fascinating talk about the upcoming festival, discussed some of the featured films and series, and how they go about making the final selections for the festival.
All screenings will be in French with English subtitles or English. They also offer several screenings and events that are free on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets and more information on the festival are available at colcoa.org.
The setting for the reception was outside on a beautiful, cool evening, with elegant champagne, and delicious hors d’oeuvres were passed after the talks. More photos from the event are available on my Flickr site here: flickr.com/photos/joybennett/. Very much looking forward to the festival! I will cover more of it here later on this month.
The Los Angeles area film festival season starts soon! Two outstanding ones include:
The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival: Always a favorite, this is expertly curated festival features wonderful films and runs from April 26th to May 3, 2017. Founded in 2006, the festival's Executive Director is Hilary Helstein, herself an accomplished film director. It's sponsored by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, among others. I'll be there, and will post coverage as I do. For more info. and tickets, visit lajfilmfest.org.
COLCOA French Film Festival. If you are a fan of French cinema (and what self-respecting film buff isn't?) you will enjoy the COLCOA French Film Festival, running April 24th to May 2. For more info. and tickets, visit colcoa.org.
Many other festivals coming up, including the Los Angeles Film Festival, Dances with Films, Turner Classic Film Festival, and on and on. Isn't is great living in Los Angeles?
Just published a review of cold brew coffees at the Huffington Post. Here it is, enjoy!
Nashville singer/songwriter Matt Urmy (pictured above) was in town singing some songs from his new album “Out of the Ashes” to be released March 31, 2017. I saw him and his friend (also named Matt) perform a set at the Hotel Café Second Stage last night in Hollywood. He opened with reading one of his poems, then a drinking song. Right up my alley!
He said he can’t sing but actually Matt has a fine, expressive, raspy voice reminiscent of Bob Dylan or Tom Waits. More pleasant to listen to though. His lyrics are outstanding -- very poetic and well crafted.
Matt is a charming and magnetic performer, and we wish him much luck with the new album. I met him briefly after his set and he could not have been kinder or more friendly. For more information about Matt Urmy, visit matturmy.com.
For more information about Hotel Café Second Stage or their other Main Stage, visit hotelcafe.com. This is a small, intimate café in Hollywood that features high quality singer/songwriters before they become more widely known. I have always seen great musicians there. They maintain an impressive, very high level of talent; yet have a relaxed, informal vibe. It’s a very comfortable, fun place to spend an evening.
This slow, meditative, engrossing film studies the dynamics of a painfully unhappy family. The mother, a pretty 40 something that is so neurotic and unhappy her husband finally asks for a divorce, is sorting through their old farmhouse in the South of France. A beautiful place, inhabited by very sad people. Her son, a sensitive 15 year old, is caught between wanting to comfort his mother and trying to figure out his own issues. Along comes a fetching, charismatic French young man who they are both drawn to, with issues of his own.
The film, starring the excellent Juliette Stevenson as the mother, and Alex Lawther as her son, studies the dynamics of family and how sexuality and unsaid secrets can damage and hurt everyone involved. Capably written and directed by acclaimed British filmmaker Andrew Steggall, Departure depicts the ending of things, but also the faint beginnings of new lives. Quietly moving, and beautifully photographed.
Departure is available starting today 3/7/17 on DVD/Video on Demand via Wolfe Video, and available through iTunes and major retailers, and at wolfeondemand.com.