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COLCOA to open with 'Land of the Shtis'

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PARIS -- After a strong showing at the Oscars, French films will head back to Los Angeles for the Franco-American Cultural Fund's 12th annual City of Lights, City of Angels film festival set to kick off April 14, organizers said Thursday.

Gallic boxoffice sensation "Welcome to the Land of the Shtis" will hold its North American premiere on COLCOA's opening night before being screened for the general public on April 19, then to more than 1,000 American French-language students.

The world premiere of Christian Faure's "Behind the Walls" and Abdellatif Kechiche's Cesar-winning drama "The Secret of the Grain" will close the event.

Jean-Paul Salome's "Female Agents," Anne le Ny's "Those Who Remain," Cedric Klapisch's "Paris," Claude Lelouch's "Roman de Gare," Claude Miller's "A Secret," Celine Sciamma's "Water Lilies," Michel Hazanavicius' "OSS 117" and Eric Guirado's "The Grocer's Son" will also screen at the fest.

Other festival highlights include a world premiere presentation of recently-restored Fritz Lang film "Secret Beyond the Door," a screening of Guillaume Canet's "Anything You Say" and a new "Focus on a Filmmaker" series with director Florent Emilio Siri followed by the U.S. premiere of his Algerian war drama "Intimate Enemies." Sandrine Bonnaire will also screen her feature documentary "Her Name is Sabine."

French film lovers can also attend a special Film Noir series, an "After 10" late-night series with mature themes or a Sunday program featuring a compilation of 20 short films and the U.S. premiere of comedy "The Red Inn." All screenings will be held in French with English subtitles.

"With the expanding globalization of the film industry, COLCOA becomes more relevant each year, which is reflected in the increasing participation of U.S. distributors," COLCOA's director-programmer Francois Truffart said.

COLCOA is funded by the Franco American Cultural Fund, an organization merging the Directors Guild of America, the MPA, France's Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music and the Writers Guild of America West with support from L'ARP (France's Association of Directors and Producers), the Los Angeles Film and TV Office of the French Embassy and Unifrance.