Netflix’s complicated relationship with the French cinema world took another twist on Monday as the streamer said it was stepping up its support of the Cinemathèque Française to become the institution’s main sponsor for a three-year term.
The streamer has collaborated with Cinematheque since 2018, notably sponsoring the restoration of Abel Gance’s 1927 classic. Napoleon in 2019 and displays its own original viz The Glass Onion: A Knife Out Mystery in the institution’s iconic Henri Langlois Auditorium.
Under the new deal, Netflix will sponsor film programming and masterclasses, the Tout La Mémoire du Monde festival (March 8-12) and several Cinémathèque operations, including its youth-focused Ma Petite Cinematheque activities.
The platform will also be behind the institution’s collection of temporary exhibitions with curated online programs, starting with the current show Top Secret: Film and Espionage and follows Romy Snyder (March 16 to July 30) and Cinematheque head Agnes Varda Viva Varda! Retrospective running from October 11, 2023 to January 28, 2024.
Additionally, Netflix will contribute props, models, scripts, production design elements, costumes and archive footage from Netflix films to the Cinémathèque’s collection.
Since arriving in France in 2014, Netflix has navigated the country’s strict Windows rules and hostility from parts of the local film industry to steadily carve out its place as a major player in the French film and TV industry.
Monday’s announcement comes as the streamer continues to lobby to soften the country’s strict windowing rules, which have prevented the streamer from presenting a film at the Cannes Film Festival since 2017.
Under a major overhaul of France’s media timeline starting in 2022, Netflix negotiated a 15-month window in exchange for additional investment in local films, up from the original 36-month window, but is pushing for further cuts.
Netflix and Cinematic first worked together in 2018 on a screening of Orson Welles. The other side of the wind In 2018.
The platform and the organization have collaborated on occasional masterclasses with directors working with Netflix, such as Damien Chazelle and David Fincher in 2020 and Aaron Sorkin in 2021.
Cinematheque hosts special premieres for several Netflix original movies, including Martin Scorsese’s Irishman (2019), David Fincher standard (2020) and Adam McKays Don’t look up and Rian Johnson The Glass Onion: A Knife Out Mystery In 2022.
Frédéric Bonaud, managing director of the Cinémathèque Française, said the sponsorship deal would help the institution bring in a wider audience.
“This makes it easier for the Cinémathèque Franchise to provide exclusive access to great directors and international actors to a wider audience and inspire the younger generation to have a passion for films,” he said.
Anne-Gabrielle Dauba-Pantanacce, director of communications and public relations, Netflix, France and Southern Europe, said that Cinematheque’s work aimed to make cinema culture more accessible.
“We share the same determination to make films more accessible to all and raise awareness of writers,” he said.