Offerings for the festival, scheduled to take place April 11-18 at the Directors Guild Theatre, include 26 shorts and 34 features, including two world premieres, eight international and North American premieres and four U.S. premieres.
The opening-night film is to be the romantic comedy "Service Entrance," directed and co-written by Philippe Le Guay and starring Fabrice Luchini and Sandrine Kiberlain. "It was the only film selected for the Berlinale this year and was released in February in France and is already a huge commercial and critical success," said the festival's director and programmer, Francois Truffart.
Other films of note are Cedric Klapisch's comedy "My Piece of the Pie"; "Little White Lies," the latest from writer-director Guillaume Canet ("Tell No One"); and "His Mother's Eyes" with Catherine Deneuve.
Truffart said he is also very high on the comedy "Low Cost," written and directed by Maurice Barthelemy, which will have its world premiere at the festival. "It will be released in France in May," Truffart said. "If people like comedies like 'Naked Gun' or 'Airplane!' -- this is the French 'Airplane!' It's very funny."
French comedy director Bertrand Blier, who won the foreign-language-film Oscar for 1978's "Get Out Your Handkerchiefs," will be feted at the festival with a screening of his 1979 black comedy, "Cold Cuts," as well as his newest film, "A Clink of Ice." Blier will also take part in a one-hour moderated conversation.
Another French icon, actress Nathalie Baye, will be participating in the festival after the screening of the comedy "Beautiful Lies," in which she plays the mother of Audrey Tautou's character.
Besides "Cold Cuts," the festival will also highlight such vintage films as Jacques Demy's "Lola," as well as a film from director by Claude Chabrol, who died last year. That film will be selected by Martin Scorsese.
The festival will also be celebrating the work of the students of the La Femis film school in Paris with a selection of shorts that will be seen throughout the programming.
"Nothing to Declare," the latest comedy from actor-director Dany Boon, whose 2008 European blockbuster "Welcome to the Sticks" opened the City of Lights three years ago, will be the festival's closing-night offering.
For a complete lineup, go to http://www.colcoa.org
-- Susan King
Photo: Jean-Paul Rouve, center with fist raised, and Judith Godrèche, stewardess, right, in a scene from the movie "Low Cost." Credit: Stagiaire MARKETING2/Pamela Duhesme/Les Films du Kios