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The Cinema department


The Cinema Department contributes to the promotion and cultural dissemination of French cinema abroad through the network of Instituts français and Alliances françaises and their partners around the world. It also contributes to dialogue with European and international cinematographers, supports the development of international co-productions with France, and supports the distribution of African cinema. It focuses in particular on supporting the emergence of young creativity and reaching new audiences.

It is made up of two divisions: a French Cinema division and a World Cinema division.

The French Cinema Division

It provides support and advice to the cinema programming of the Instituts français and Alliances françaises with over 300 major cultural and educational partners worldwide (festivals, film libraries, museums, cinemas and educational institutions). This action is accompanied in particular by programmes for cultural action and education in cinema aimed at developing audiences, as well as an appetite for French cinema and the French language.

 Each year it acquires the broadcasting rights to around 100 recent and older French films (fiction, documentaries and animations) for non-commercial public screenings. It provides an international component to several French film events around the world (short film festivals, events celebrating the French language, animation festivals and documentary months). It has a particular focus on promoting young French creators and establishes distribution partnerships with the ACID (Association for the Distribution of Independent Cinema), the Short Film Agency and the Premiers Plans (First Film) Festival in Angers by offering them worldwide visibility to new audiences, particularly the youngest ones.

The department also supports the digitisation and professionalisation of 56 cinemas in the French cultural network, Instituts français and Alliances françaises through a range of expertise, training, alternative content proposals (theatre and opera), cinema education and non-commercial screenings.

Since 2015, the Cinema Department has also been implementing European co-operation projects supported by the European Commission:

  • CinEd, an extensive programme of cinema education in nine countries in 10 languages, based on a body of around 20 films accompanied by educational files for teachers and students, available via an online platform.
  • European Film Factory, an ambitious film education project offering an interactive educational platform accessible in a large number of member countries of the MEDIA Programme, as well as a body of 10 iconic European films.
  • European Film Festival, a programme of support to European delegations organising European film festivals worldwide (outside the EU zone).

The World Cinema Division

The Cinema Department helps promote cinema around the world and supports projects in labs and residences for writers and producers from emerging countries throughout the year. The Institut français’ Fabrique Cinéma programme celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2018. La Fabrique invites 10 directors, accompanied by their producer, to develop their first or second feature film to consolidate their project during the Cannes Film Festival. We also support projects beyond La Fabrique with ringfenced residences and tailored support.

It also co-manages the Aid for World Cinema fund, co-managed by the National Centre for Cinema and Animated Image: this fund offers selective assistance reserved for projects related to feature films, animation or creative documentaries intended for first distribution in cinemas. Aid for World Cinema aims to make the collaboration of film makers and professionals from around the world more open, more attractive and simpler, with a view to co-producing works that will contribute to promoting cultural diversity.

It also runs the African Film Library, a unique collection of more than 1,700 titles, including more than 600 rights-free titles for non-commercial distribution. There is also a restoration policy that has agreed to restore 10 films in 2019.