Founded by Henri Langlois in 1936, La Cinémathèque française is cinema’s living memory. Its remarkable international holding comprises 40,000 films, some of them extremely rare, from the birth of cinema up to the present. La Cinémathèque also has collections of movie equipment, costumes, models, sets, posters, photographs, manuscrits, books and drawings…
In 2005, La Cinémathèque française moved to new premises designed by Frank O. Gehry at 51 Rue de Bercy in Paris. There it has blossomed as a living centre for the cinema ethos, in a rapidly developing neighbourhood offering a broad public a fresh, varied cultural choice.
La Cinémathèque française is a non-profit association subsidized by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication via the CNC(National Centre of Cinematography). La Cinémathèque française organises two major temporary exhibitions every year. They highlight the aesthetic and technical specificity of the cinema, as well as its complex and ever fascinating connections with other art forms – such as painting, drawing, design, photography and video. Their curators are chosen for their scientific abilities and their creativity. They reinvent the 600m² space in collaboration with talented set designers such as Nathalie Crinière, Pascal Rodriguez or Scenografia Agency. All contributors work with the exciting ambition to find new ways to show cinema as a subject (screened, broadcast, edited, and sometimes merely fantasised or transformed).
La Cinémathèque française presents alternately patrimonial exhibitions (German Expressionist Cinema, Magical Lanterns) and contemporary exhibitions (Gus Van Sant, Chris Marker, Jacques Demy) displaying mainly rare pieces coming from its rich archive funds, institutional partners or private collections. Film and photographic works created specially for the exhibitions and produced by La Cinémathèque complete the picture.
These temporary exhibitions are accompanied with numerous activities, such as conferences, readings, panels, workshops, guided tours, development of online content and co-publication of prestigious catalogues (with Gallimard, La Martinière, Skira, Flammarion, Steidl).
In 2021, La Cinémathèqude française reopens its museum. It evolves and changes entirely. From now on, your visit is in the company of the most famous director in history: Georges Méliès. This genius accompanies visitors on a fanatstic journey, a journey through time, to trace the history of cinema.