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The CICAE is a non-profit association aiming at promoting cultural diversity in cinemas and festivals.


The CICAE was founded in 1955 by the national arthouse cinema associations of Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The collective and concerted action of these pioneers led to the emergence in each country of a real market for quality films, as well as national schemes aimed at supporting theatres that took a stand in favour of this “high-risk” cinematographic art form.

The CICAE is recognized by the council of Europe, sits on the Bureau of the International Council for Film Television and Audiovisual Communication (IFTC) UNESCO, is a member of Media Salles, and has been a member of the Coalition française pour la diversité culturelle since its inception in 2003. It collaborates with Europa Cinemas, receives support from UNESCO, the European Union’s MEDIA programme, the CNC (France), the FFA (Germany), the DGC (Italy), to name but a few.


  • Encouraging arthouse cinemas to come together under a common umbrella at the national and international level.
  • Obtaining support for arthouse films from government bodies.
  • Fostering the distribution of high quality films from all countries, in all countries.
  • Promoting the screening of art films in order to increase audiences and foster production through targeted cultural initiatives.


A 100-million-strong audience in Europe

In countries where the art cinema sector is well developed, arthouse films account for 10 to 25 percent of all tickets sold. Art cinema upholds the values of “quality cinema that knows no borders”, although, de facto, the bulk is made up of European productions and co-productions. Statistics show that in several countries arthouse cinemas draw up to 80 percent of audiences for quality European films; they are also the most appropriate setting where moviegoers can discover African, Asian, Latin American and independent films from the USA. Thus the arthouse cinema industry is (also) a market, which connects quality films with their main “consumers”, i.e. cinema enthusiasts.


  • Emphasize the importance of art cinemas
  • Train art-house professionals
  • Promote cinemas and festivals
  • Recommend art films
  • Bring art cinemas of the world together: Art Cinema Day
  • Prepare the future of art cinemas: Green Screens
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