About us

The Association

The CICAE Board of members at the annual meeting in Cannes (May 2022) - Photo credit: Isabelle Nègre
The CICAE Board of members at the annual meeting in Cannes (May 2022) - Photo credit: Isabelle Nègre

The CICAE is a network of networks and a bridge between festivals and arthouse cinemas.

The CICAE (Confédération Internationale des Cinémas d’Art et d’Essai) is a non-profit association bringing together over 2100 arthouse cinemas with more than 4200 screens, in 42 countries in the world, thanks to the collaboration of 12 national and regional arthouse cinema networks (Belgium, Canada-Québec, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Northern Africa), as well as individual cinemas, not yet represented by a national network, and festivals across the world.

The CICAE was funded in 1955 by the national arthouse associations of France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, aiming at promoting cultural diversity in cinemas and festivals, as well as at reinforcing at political level the support for theatres that took a stand in favour of this “high-risk” cinematographic art form.

The collective 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 cinemas, taking a stand in favour of this high-risk cinematographic art form.

Our Mission

  • Encouraging arthouse cinemas across the world to work together on a national and international level
  • Securing funding for arthouse cinema from governments and supranational bodies
  • Fostering the distribution of high-quality films from all countries in all countries
  • Promoting the screening of arthouse films in order to increase audiences
  • Protecting and maintaining the release windows
  • Accompanying the development of green practices in cinemas
  • Supporting gender equality

Supporting bodies

The CICAE receives support from the Creative Europe MEDIA programme of the European Union, the CNC - Centre nationale du cinéma et de l'image animée, the FFA - Filmförderungsanstalt, and the Direzione Generale Cinema e Audiovisivo of the Italian Minister of Culture, to name but a few.

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 the Coalition francaise pour la diversité culturelle since its inception in 2003, and since March 2020 it has become member of the Advisory Committee of the European Audiovisual Observatory. The CICAE collaborates with several film institutions and organisations, among which also Europa Cinemas and Media Salles.

Actions & Projects

Policy & Lobby Work

The CICAE is lobbying for the arthouse sector at national and international level. To know more about our policy and official statements continue here.

CICAE’s projects

The association has three key projects:

  • The Arthouse Cinema Training: a workshop and mentoring programme co-funded by Creative Europe MEDIA, that aims at training the next generation of arthouse exhibitors.
  • The Arthouse Cinema Awards: the label given to films awarded by international juries, formed by arthouse exhibitors member of the CICAE, at prominent international film festivals (among which Berlinale, Cannes, Sarajevo, Sevilla and more).
  • The European Arthouse Cinema Day: the event that celebrates European films and arthouse theatres as important cultural hubs for the local communities.
Industry Events, Partnership and Collaborations

The CICAE partners with several stakeholders of the film industry on different occasions. A list of the upcoming events is available at this page.

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