The American French Film Festival in Los Angeles has unveiled its documentary lineup, led by Loup Bureau’s Tranchées (Trenches), shot in the Donbas region of Ukraine months before Russia launched a full-scale invasion of the nation; the film focuses on local soldiers fighting against Moscow-supported separatists in a battle for survival.
The festival, formerly known as COLCOA, plans to screen five feature and three TV documentaries as part its nonfiction program during the event that runs Oct. 10-16. The feature docs booked include Andre Bonzel’s Et j’aime a la fureur (Flickering Ghosts of Loves Gone), focusing on the filmmaker reflecting on his life; Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai’s Allons Enfants (Rookies), a breakdance documentary about talented, ambitious kids from diverse backgrounds in a swanky Paris high school; Francois Busnel’s Seule La Terre est Eternelle (The Earth is All That Lasts), which features a road trip through the American Northwest with the late writer Jim Harrison; and Annie Ernaux and David Ernaux’s The Super 8 Years, where author Annie Ernaux turns family films into a telling story.
The American French Film Festival will also present three TV docs, including Nathalie Masduraud and Valerie Urrea’s Alice Guy L’inconnue du 7eme art (Alice Guy, The First Female Director), a film about a female narrative filmmaker who made nearly 1000 films starting in 1896.
Also headed to Los Angeles is Anissa Bonnefond’s Nadia, a portrait of Nadia Nadim, who escaped her native Afghanistan and became a professional football player with the Paris Saint-Germain team before studying to become a surgeon; and Catherine Bernstein and Marine Belumeau’s Naissance d’un héros noir au cinéma: Sweet Sweet Black (Sweet Black Film: The Birth of a Black Hero), about the director Melvin Van Peebles.
“By putting together films that are about the exemplary lives of exemplary women, minorities fighting to create and being recognized for their work as filmmakers, the intimacy of a famous American writer and a famous French author, surpassing of oneself thanks to sport or dance, and about the resilience of Ukrainian fighters, this selection of contemporary French documentaries for the 26th edition of the festival brings the competition for the Best Documentary Award 2022 to a very high level,” François Truffart, executive producer and programmer at the American French Film Festival, said in a statement.
The 2022 American French Film Festival will unveil its full lineup on Sept. 20.