film festival tourism

COL COA (City of Lights City of Angels Film Festival)

Why Go: To catch up with recent and classic French cinema in a posh West Hollywood setting.

COL/COA Festival

The Festival: This well-funded event, launched in 1996 under the directorship of Francois Truffart, focuses on American premieres of new commercial and arthouse French films. A smattering of revivals, tributes and panels round out the program. Over sixty films were screened in 2014.

Francois Truffart


Timing: A week at the end of April.

Schedule: Screenings begin at 11am in two theaters and run until about midnight.

Tickets: Most films are $10, but some films and other events are free. Screenings do sell out, so it’s wise to purchase tickets online early.

Audience: Film industry pros mix with local Francophiles and cinephiles. There are a number of special screenings for high school students. Over 21,000 people attended in 2014.

Venues: The two theaters in the Directors Guild of America building at 7920 Sunset are luxurious and state-of-the-art.

interior of the DGA's Renoir Theater

Guests: An impressive number of important filmmakers, critics and scholars.

Getting Around: Buses run along Sunset from the ocean to downtown.

Where to eat: The festival offers a number of  free or inexpensive food options in the DGA reception hall next to the theaters.

Where to Stay: I have enjoyed staying at the Chamberlain, a small, quiet property which is quite near to the theaters.1000 Westmount Drive, West Hollywood, CA 9006.

Chamberlain Hotel



Best Film I Saw: The Man Who Loved Women (L’homme qui aimait les femmes). This 1977 film from French auteur Francois Truffaut, said to be his most autobiographical, holds up well for its sly, self-aware  comedy.

The Man Who Loved Women

Unexpected Pleasure: Hearing Claude Lelouch, on a panel devoted to Truffaut, challenge the New Wave label long attached to Truffaut’s work, persuasively categorizing it as a continuation of the French Tradition of Quality.

Claude Lelouch at COLCOA

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