Magazine article Variety

Boulevard of Hollywood Dreams

Magazine article Variety

Boulevard of Hollywood Dreams

Article excerpt

Gallic unspoolings spotlight both U.S. indies and studio fare By Andrew Barker

Founded three years ago, the Champs-Klysees Film Festival takes place in Paris in the middle of June, a period that would seem a less than ideal time to try and entice international film execs to France: just a few weeks after many of them have returned from Cannes.

But Champs-Elysees takes a different take on its internationalism, focusing on American fare that might fall out of European festival consideration. With a smattering of major studio product, short student films and everything in between, the fest will unspool more than 60 films for its third iteration, which runs June 11-17.

"Since the fest was founded three years ago, public expectations have been building. Distributors who early on just gave us films to make us happy now consider us a significant venue for their product," says French film producer and distributor Sophie Dulac, who founded the festival. "This year we're making further progress." Presided over by filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier and actress Jacqueline Bisset, the fest's lineup doesn't exactly reflect what a Stateside Francophile would imagine a festival on Paris' most iconic thoroughfare might look like, which is precisely the point. Seth Rogen starrer "Neighbors" and Seth MacFarlane's "A Million Ways to Die in the West" will unspool, while Keanu Reeves will conduct a master class and present his directorial debut, the documentary "Man of Tai Chi."

Yet the programming is hardly confined to the multiplex, and the competition and premiere entries encompass an interesting cross section of American indie fare, ranging from festival favorite "Obvious Child" to "Sun Belt Express," "1982," "Ping Pong Summer" and "The Magic City. …

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