The Happy Hour Talk series continues during the weekend with a focus on a French film composer who will share his experience and talk about his relation with French directors he has worked with.


Prolific composer Jean-Claude Petit is the first honored by the festival with one film competing for the COLCOA CINEMA Awards and a Happy Hour Talk panel:


Friday, April 28

Renoir Theater – 8:30 pm


Written and directed by: Lisa Azuelos

Original Score by: Jean-Claude Petit, Laurent Perez Del Mar

U.S. Premiere


Saturday, April 29

TRUFFAUT Theater – 6:00 pm


A one hour conversation with Jean-Claude Petit (Free admission – no RSVP)

Moderated by



About Jean-Claude Petit:


Jean-Claude Petit's generation of musicians embraced the entire musical spectrum of their day - from jazz to rock'n'roll, via classical and contemporary.


His music studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, where he was awarded his first music theory medal at the age of ten, then three First Prizes (harmony, counterpoint and fugue), did not get in the way of the wonderful jazz adventure he embarked upon whilst still in his teens. He performed at major Parisian venues, playing piano for the best American musicians of the '60s: Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Kenny Clarke, etc.


The idea of writing appealed to him, and he responded favourably to requests from show business from 1966, quickly becoming a highly sought-after arranger.


He thus wrote and arranged the records of Joan Baez, Mink Deville, Mort Shuman,  or  French singers as Julien Clerc, Serge Lama, Claude François, , Michel Sardou, Gilbert Bécaud and others. He composed songs for a host of these artists and also for Marie Laforêt, Juliette Gréco and Alain Souchon.


He also tried his hand at stage musicals with La Révolution Française, Mayflower and 36 Front Populaire, also composing music for a host of ads.


All this time, Jean-Claude Petit was also conducting prestigious classical orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris, and the Orchestre de Paris.


But jazz was always there. Jean-Claude Petit produced, played and composed jazz-rock albums such as Babel (with guitarist Philip Catherine) and The Best of all Possible Worlds (synthesiser album).


In 1982, he decided to break away from variety and channel his experience across the entire spectrum of modern music into films. He quickly gained recognition as a film score composer, receiving in under ten years one César, two Victoires de la Musique, a Brit Award, the SACEM Grand Prix in 2010, and multiple nominations for the Oscars and the European Awards, etc.


His Filmography includes Dalida (2017), Face (2009), Podium (2004), Beaumarchais the Scoundrel (1996), Le Zèbre (1992), Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), Manon of the Spring & Jean de Florette (1990).


He also wrote his first symphonic work Composer, s at that time (published by Éditions Durand et Leduc), composed his first two operas which were premiered in 2007 and 2014 at the Opéra de Nice and the Opéra de Marseille respectively, and continued his long-standing relationship with the theatre, from Max Frisch to Victor Haïm, via Robert Hossein and Alfred Jarry, thus travelling through genres and time.


Jean-Claude Petit has been a Member of SACEM since 1964. He was member of the Symphonic Music Commission in 2012-2013. He is currently the Chairman of the SACEM Board.