July 5 ------ Hollywood’s French film festival will not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said Tuesday, as cases continue to surge in the United States. COLCOA, which features premieres and glitzy galas for Gallic cinema in Los Angeles, will next take place in September 2021 — a 25th anniversary edition.
The decision was taken due to “the continuing health situation in the U.S., which is different from Europe at the moment,” COLCOA said in a statement to Agence France-Presse. COVID-19 is still rampaging across the U.S., which has recorded more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases, and theaters in Los Angeles remain shuttered. Uncertainties remain over how the situation, including travel restrictions, will progress by September — when this year’s COLCOA was due to take place — the statement added.
Organizers said they had ruled out a “virtual” edition of the festival. Screenings in theaters are “fundamentally and symbolically important for all official premieres of a film in Hollywood,” said festival director Francois Truffart, adding that “this form of public event will remain necessary and popular even after the crisis.” Last year’s COLCOA — which stands for “City of Lights, City of Angels” — opened with Ladj Ly’s gritty Oscar-nominated drama “Les Miserables”. It also featured Netflix’s “I Lost My Body”, a French animation about a severed hand which also earned an Oscar nomination.