'Eden Is West' tops City of Lights nods

'First Day,' 'Welcome' also take home awards at event

"Eden Is West," co-written and directed by Costa-Gavras, was awarded the top prize by the jury of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. at the 13th annual City of Lights, City of Angels, a Week of French Film Premieres in Hollywood, which concluded Sunday at the Directors Guild Theatre.

LAFCA's special prize went to "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life," written and directed by Remi Bezancon. Actress Yolande Moreau was given a special mention for her work in "Seraphine," her Cesar Award-winning performance, as well as her turn in the comedy caper "Louise-Michel."

The closing film, Philippe Lioret's "Welcome," about a Kurdish youth's struggle to emigrate from Iraq to the U.K. via Calais, won the COLCOA audience award, while "Baby Love," written and directed by Vincent Garenq, garnered both the COLCOA first feature and audience special prize awards.

Audience special mention went to the gangster epic "Mesrine: A Film in Two Parts," written by Abdel Raouf Dafri and directed by Jean-Francois Richet, a thriller that won him a Cesar for best director. Senator Distribution opens the film domestically in mid-August.

"Make Yourself at Home," written and directed by Gautier About, won the COLCOA short film award, while "Nous," written and directed by Olivier Hems, was awarded the COLCOA short film special prize. "Skhizein," written and directed by Jeremy Clapin, won a special animation prize, and the duo of Cecile Ducrocq and Raphael Goldman won a special mention for their acting in "A Private Lesson."

City of Lights, City of Angels is funded by the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a partnership between the DGA, the Motion Picture Assn., France's Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music and the WGA West, with the support of L'ARP (France's Association of Authors, Directors and Producers), the Los Angeles Film and TV Office of the French Embassy and Unifrance.
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