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By Mark Bell | April 30, 2013

Running June 12-18, 2013, the 2nd annual Champs-Elysées Film Festival has announced its lineup. From the official press release:

After the success of its first edition and the 15,000 spectators it drew, the Champs-Elysées Film Festival – which was created by producer, distributor and cinema owner Sophie Dulac – is back for a second year. The festival will take place from June 12th to 18th under the presidency of French actor Olivier Martinez, with the same ambition as last year: making the Champs-Elysées the meeting place for a popular, festive and cultural event around the cinema.

The festival will open with the premiere of the highly anticipated comedy-drama “Struck by Lightning”, directed by Brian Dannelly, presented by actor Chris Colfer. The film marks the “Glee” star and teenage idol’s debut as a writer. Indeed Chris Colfer is both the lead actor and scriptwriter of the film. “Struck by Lightning” is due to come out in France June 19th, distributed by Eurozoom.

Closing the festival will be the screening of “Girl most likely”, directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, in the presence of its two young and talented actors: Kristen Wiig and Darren Criss. Kristen Wiig has starred in numerous independent American movies but it is the hilarious comedy “Bridesmaids” that propelled her to stardom. For his part, Darren Criss is well-known for his leading role in the hit show “Glee”.

What to expect during the week:
A selection of nine independent American feature films submitted to the public’s vote for best feature.
· I Am I by Jocelyn Towne
· Blood Pressure by Sean Garrity
· Hide Your Smiling Faces by Daniel Patrick Carbone
· How To Make Money Selling Drugs a documentary by Matthew Cooke with Woody Harrelson, Susan Sarandon, Eminem, 50 cent
· Any day now by Travis Fine with Alan C*****g
· Coldwater by Vincent Grashaw
· Decoding Annie Parker by Steven Bernstein with Helen Hunt
· It Felt Like love by Eliza Hittman
· Thanks for sharing by Stuart Blumberg

– Over thirty five French and American short films presented in seven categories, including student projects from five renowned cinema schools: AFI, Columbia, NYU TISCH, and USC in the United-States and the Femis in France.

Prestigious French and American movie premieres such as Frances Ha by Noah Baumbach with Greta Gerwig, Arthur Newman by Dante Ariola with Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, Rampart by Oren Moverman with Woody Harrelson, Steve Buscemi, Robin Wright, Broken City by Allen Hughes with Russel Crowe, Mark Walberg, Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Late Quartet by Yaron Zilberman with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, The East by Zal Batmanglij with Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård and Ellen Page…

World War Z‘s a special event to celebrate the release of Brad Pitt’s upcoming movie in theaters on July 3rd. The Festival will screen 6 of this great actor’s major movies – Se7en, Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by David Fincher, Babel by Alejandro González Inárritu, Burn after reading by Joel and Ethan Coen and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford by Andrew Dominik – and is honored to pay tribute to Brad Pitt’s 25 years movie career. World War Z: United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to decimate humanity itself.

Jean-François Camilleri as our exceptional guest. The president of the Walt Disney Company France and Benelux and president of DisneyNature World will take part in a debate on the film industry with other members of the sector.

– a new program: “The TCM Cinema Essentials” featuring thirteen feature films and documentaries. These include classics of the French and American cinema that have been restored : … All the marbles by Robert Aldrich , One, Two, Three by Billy Wilder, Sophie’s Choice by Alan J. Pakula , Sullivan’s Travels by Preston Sturges , The Nutty Professor by Jerry Lewis, Scarface by Brian de Palma… These thirteen films will be submitted to the vote of teenage students.

3 master classes during which audience members will be able to interact with great filmmakers such as Costa Gavras (Z, L’Aveu, Music Box), Cédric Klapisch (Le Péril jeune, L’Auberge espagnole, Paris) and Frédérick Wiseman (Ballet, La Danse, Crazy Horse).

All in all, more than sixty films will be shown over a hundred screenings in all the theaters along the Champs-Elysées Avenue: the Balzac, the Gaumont Champs-Elysées, the Lincoln, the Publicis Cinémas, the UGC George V and the MK2 Grand Palais.

US in Progress 2013
US in Progress is a joint initiative between the American Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, the Champs-Elysées Film Festival in Paris and Black Rabbit Film. It is the first and only professional event dedicated to the independent American cinema which happens twice a year – during each festival. Movies that were featured at recent US in Progress events have gone on to be selected for festivals such as Sundance 2013, the Berlinale 2013, SXSW 2013 and Tribeca 2013.

The point of US in Progress is to present American independent films in their post-production phase to potential European buyers in order to encourage their distribution and broadcast across Europe. Thus, US in Progress aims at building new bridges between today’s new generation of talented American filmmakers and European buyers.

For its second edition within the Champs-Elysées Film Festival in Paris, US in Progress will present six selected feature films to about forty potential buyers, distributors, festivals and European producers.
– Blue Potato by Gita Pullapilly
– BFE by Shawn Telford
– Children by Jaffe Zinn
– Ping Pong Summer by Michael Tully
– I Believe in Unicorns by Leah Meyerhoff
– 1982 by Tommy Olivier

The winner will be endowed with a series of benefits (digital postproduction, subtitles, purchase of the film, promotion…)

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