Monday night at the DGA Theatres in Hollywood, the COLCOA (City of Lights, City of Angeles) French Film Festival closed its successful week-long program with the announcement of its winners in such categories as Audience Awards, Critics Awards, Best First Feature, Best Documentary and Best Short Film winners. In its 18th year, COLCOA had a record attendance of nearly 20,000 festivalgoers, while thirty-four features and documentaries and twenty shorts competed for the 2014 COLCOA Awards.
COLCOA 2014 Audience Awards for Best Feature Films
Winning the COLCOA Audience Award was writer/director Christophe Offenstein’s “Turning Tide” (“En Solitaire”). Previously working as a cinematographer for such acclaimed films as “Tell No One” and “Blood Ties,” Offenstein’s directorial debut focuses on a man who dreams of winning the prestigious Vendee Globe round-the-world solo yacht race. But well into the race he discovers that he has a hidden passenger.
Also picking up an Audience Award was Cedric Klapisch’s “Chinese Puzzle” in the Audience Special Prize Award category (the film also won the Coming Soon Award – as “Chinese Puzzle” opens on May 16 in the U.S.). The Audience Special Mention award went to Diane Kurys for her film “For A Woman.”
COLCOA 2014 Critics Awards for Best Feature Films
“Vandal” written by Katell Quillevere, Gilles Taurand, Nicolas Journet, Helier Cisterne and directed by Cisterne won the Critics Award. The film stars Zinedine Benchenine as Cherif a troubled youth who is sent to his aunt and uncle’s to attend vocational school. While trying to go straight, Cherif discovers and comes of age in the world of graffiti art.
Winning the Critics Special Prize Award was “One of a Kind” written and directed by Francois Dupeyron. The Critics Special Mention Award went to “The Rooftops” written and directed by Merzak Allouache.
COLCOA 2014 Best First Feature Award
Having already taken France by storm winning five Cesar Awards (out of ten nominations), it is no surprise that the delightful “Me, Myself and Mom” (“les Garcons et Guillaume, a table!”) would win the COLCOA First Feature Award. Written and directed by, as well as starring Guillaume Gallienne, “Me, Myself and Mom” is Guillaume’s personal memoir of growing up as if he were a girl.
COLCOA 2014 Best Documentary Award
The winner of COLCOA’s Best Documentary Award went to Jean-Albert Lievre’s “Flore.” A touching and even inspiring film, “Flore” follows the personal journey of Lievre’s mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. The film will have a U.S. release through Distrib Films.
COLCOA 2014 Awards for Best Short Films
COLCOA is very supportive of the art of short films - twenty shorts screened before the feature presentations and also had their own programs during the festival. Four of the short films walked away with awards. “The Audition” co-written by Pierre Niney and Igor Gotesman and directed by Nineywon won the Audience Short Film Award. Winning the Jury Award was “The Run Away” written and directed by Jean-Bernard Marlin. Taking the COLCOA Short Film Special Prize was “Women’s Letters” (co-written by Augusto Zanovello and Jean-Charles Sinck, directed by Zanovello). “5 Metres 80” (written and directed by Nicolas Devaux) and “37°4S” (written and directed by Adiano Valerio) both received Short Film Jury Special Mentions.