Our endowment fund: Cinema Revival

Shortly after the occupation of La Clef began, we realised that the only way to preserve the cinema and the operating model we had invented was to acquire the building ourselves, so as not to be dependent on a private owner. To achieve that goal, we set up an endowment fund called Cinema Revival.

An endowment fund is a not-for-profit legal entity which can collect tax-deductible donations to carry out a mission of general interest.

Cinema Revival’s mission is to ensure the long-term preservation of cultural venues which are primarily dedicated to film exhibition and managed by users associations that implement independent and participatory programming.

Cinema Revival raises funds and takes out loans in order to acquire, renovate and preserve movie theaters under threat of closure, which management it then entrusts to a collective of users. There are no shareholders in an endowment fund: this way, the editorial and economic decisions remain entirely in the hands of the people involved in running the cinema daily.

Moreover, Cinema Revival’s articles of association prohibit any speculation on real estate : the fund’s administrators cannot be tempted to resell the buildings in order to turn a profit. This way, the cinemas owned by Cinema Revival are effectively taken out of the property market and become common property, available on a freehold basis to collectives of programmers, artists, filmmakers and film lovers.

Cinema Revival’s administrative board of administrators is made up of two colleges:

As of April 2024, the fund’s administrators are:

College of users

Victor BILLET, co-founder and film producer at SMAC productions collective

Claire-Emmanuelle BLOT, film programmer – most notably at the Entrevues Festival in Belfort – and member of the Directors’ Fortnight press relations team

Chloé FOLENS, PhD candidate in film history and deputy delegate of the French Directors’ Guild (SRF)

Bulle MEIGNAN, video artist and film programmer

Luc PAILLARD, projectionist

Gautier RAGUENES, film producer at Les films Hatari

College of professionals

Eric ARRIVÉ, “commons” expert

Eric is a researcher and an expert in the legal arrangements that enable common property. This is a crucial parameter of the project to take over La Clef : the goal is not simply to buy the cinema, but to protect it durably from real estate speculation and to entrust its management to a cooperative of users, who will administer it with complete independence.

Céline SCIAMMA, French screenwriter and director

Céline’s debut feature film was Water Lilies, back in 2008 ; she is best known for Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019), which won Best Screenplay at the Cannes and European Film Festivals. Her experience as an independent writer and director, and her knowledge of alternative production methods will provide valuable support for the development of artistic residencies at La Clef.

Laurent TENZER, member of Cinema Nova (Brussels)

Laurent has been involved in the running of Cinema Nova in Brussels since its inception. This emblematic cinema in the heart of Brussels is dedicated to programming independent films and videos and has been run for twenty years by a team of volunteers. It is a model of alternative cinema management in Europe, which has inspired the project to take over La Clef.

Jean-Marc ZEKRI, operator of Reflet Médicis (Paris)

Jean-Marc runs the Reflet Médicis, a historic Arthouse cinema in the Latin Quarter, renowned for its cutting-edge programming of heritage films and recent independent films. Reflet Médicis is part of the network of independent cinemas in Paris : Jean-Marc Zekri has in-depth knowledge of the public support model for such venues.

Make a donation
USA – Film Independent fiscal sponsorship