Association act 1901, the French Cinémathèque was created in 1936 by Henri Langlois, Georges Franju, Jean Mitry and Paul Auguste Harlé. Over the years, it became one of the most famous archives in the world with its rich collections. Long Installed at the Palais de Chaillot, the French Cinémathèque is located, since September 2005, in a modern building built by the architect Frank Gehry, 51 rue de Bercy (Paris 12th). At the opening of the new Cinémathèque, Martin Scorsese declared: “The directors around the world know the French Cinémathèque, even if they have never been there. It is our spiritual home. ”
With its experience, equipped with new means, the Cinémathèque can from now on continue its mission: to preserve and restore films and archives of its collections, program great classics but also complete retrospectives and tributes to film-directors, actors, producers and film engineers, expose fabulous objects of its collections within the permanent exhibition Passion Cinema, organize temporary exhibitions to show the wealth of its funds and to emphasize the cinema’s bonds with other arts, welcome students and researchers in a library and an archive center.
Through its many initiatives, the French Cinémathèque wishes to transmit a taste for the cinematographic art, especially through its educational and cultural activities for young audiences. In January 2007, the French Cinémathèque and the Film Library merged, thus allowing a harmonious management of the film and non-film collections.
Today, the Cinémathèque gathers nearly 700 members, individuals or legal entities, directors, actors, researchers, critics, engineers, film buffs, who have deposited or donated a work or a cinematographic document. Membership allows the depositors and donators to become members of the General Assembly. They thus participate in the election, every other
year, of the renewable half of the Board of directors of the French Cinémathèque.
The latter consists of eighteen members elected by the General Assembly. Each director has a four-year term. The State appoints five qualified individuals and is represented by a Government Commissioner (the CNC President) and a Financial Controller. The Board of Directors elects the Office composed of the President and the Treasurer (for two years), and of the Vice-president(s) and Secretaries (for one year).