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[ Collectif Jeune Cinema - history ]

CJC - Collectif Jeune Cinéma - founded in 1971, promotes visual experimental practices including distribution of experimental cinema, regular monthly screenings and the yearly Different and Experimental Cinema Festival of Paris. CJC's catalogue includes more than 1650 films from more than 480 filmmakers, and still counting.

A brief history :

CJC was founded on the model of the New York filmmakers coop soon after Marcel Mazé met with Jonas Mekas. This gathering as a cooperative, following the New York film-Makers’ cooperative’s footsteps, was decided by the filmmakers that were present at the Hyères festival in 1971. They took notice that there were no commercial or non for profit (such as cine clubs) capable of distributing their films. This film coop enables to establish a distinguish identity to the french experimental cinema. Filmmakers were no longer isolated. All the rebirth of the french avant-garde cinéma was born then. It later was referred to as the « cooperative movement ».

The fist CJC’s screening  took place in Paris on June 23rd 1970 at the Val-de-Grâce studio. Marcel Mazé introduced several films that just got screened at the Festival international du Jeune Cinéma de Hyères.

The first board of directors were elected in June 5th 1971. The appointed members were Raphaël Bassan, Noël Burch (general secretary), Jean-Paul Cassagnac, Yves-André Delubac, Daniel Geldreich, Marcel Mazé (président), Maud Meimon, Luc Moullet (co-président) and Claude Thiébaut.

CJC organized hundreds of screenings both in Paris in different cinemas (L'Olympic, La Vieille Grille, le Palais des Arts, Le Passage Dallery, among others) as well as at the Hyères Festival (until it ended in 1984) and elsewhere in France. Those screening enables to promote filmmakers’s practice along with encouraging debates, analysis and polemics regarding the forms different cinemas could take. Those exchanges impregnated many during the 70’s until the early 80’s.

Between 1976 and 1980, CJC published twenty six issues of the journal « Cinéma Différent », initiated by Marcel Mazé and Patrice Kirchhofer (who was in fact the first director of this publication). This magazine was gathering studies on experimental cinema’s practices and theories, from France and beyond. Articles and contributions were written by filmmakers, critics and writers.

In 1989, CJC rejoined Light Cone in order to ensure to carry on the distribution while merging the two organisation’s catalogues. CJC was contributing to this new association by giving access and use of its office space, rue Louis Braille. Light Cone was ensuring the administration. This first merged catalogue was published in October 1989.

In 1998, several filmmakers from CJC decided to split ,while remaining in good terms, for economic and administrative reasons.

The new Collectif Jeune Cinéma :

The new Collectif Jeune Cinéma was born  in 1998 out of several filmmakers’s and cinema lovers’ will to refound a cooperative following the old model of the CJC’s coop and chose to keep its name.

A first festival edition took place in parternship with another organisation, DCA (D’un Cinéma l’Autre) which was also animated by several filmmakers from CJC and that were organizing a festival dedicated to different and experimental cinéma since 1995. This first edition was named « from Hyères to nowadays » ( Hyères and yesterday are homonyms in french).
The first edition was a success. The DCA split but CJC carried on. Young filmmakers started to bring their films copies to the CJC’s catalogue and expressed their will to work for the new organisation. New films were aded to the historical titles that were so far constituting the catalogue and there are now more contemporary works than historical ones.

From 2007 until 2011, several CJC filmmakers started to publish a new issue: Etoilements that was printed on paper. Twelve issues were published.

The organisation was administrated by several coordinators and employees since 1999 :  Sarah Darmon, Raphaël Sevet, Violeta Salvatierra, Damien Marguet, Julia Gouin, Victor Gresard, and Théo Deliyannis today.  The festival editions were also coordinated by different employees and/or members of the coop including Claire Salvi, Olivia Cooper-Hadjian, Delphine Voiry Humbert, Danae Papaionnou, Angélica Cuevas Portilla, Gabrielle Reiner, Gloria Morano and Daphné Hérétakis.

The previous festival editions were directed by several CJC’s filmmakers including Angélica Cuevas Portilla and Gabrielle Reiner, Laurence Rebouillon, Bernard Cerf and Frédéric Tachou, Théo Deliyannis and Jessica Macor.

Marcel Mazé, the co-founder of the organisation and a central figure for generations of filmmakers involved in experimental and different cinema, passed away in February 14th 2012. 

Nicole Brenez expressed here memories of him in this text. (in french)
Raphaël Bassan gathered more informations about the history of the CJC coop here (in french)

Festival d'Hyères programming archive is available here.

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The history of the Cinéma Différent journal

  Revue Cinéma Différent

In the 1970s, the Collectif Jeune Cinema started to publish an innovative journal begun by Patrick Kirchhofer. “Cinéma Différent” combines theoretical and free written texts freer by artists/filmmakers who were connected to CJC. A breath of freedom shines through the reading of each issue, mostly in the forms of writing (photo collages decorated with texts, art essays, etc.). 


From its conception, “Cinéma Différent” seems to echo directly from the position undertaken by the own experimental film practice in the cinematic landscape: Claude Brunel, one of the recurring authors of the journal, defines it like this: "Subject to any guidelines, if that is not one of the requirements, a victim of any theory but open to all theories, conceived and built away from chapels and polemics, those "what-it-needs-to-be-thought” and "what-it-must-to-be-done", “Cinéma Différent” has no other purpose than to help to highlight, to distribute and to create an independent, different and experimental cinema” ("Editorial" Cinéma Différent, nr 23 / 25, July August/September 1979, p.3)1. Result of the diversity inherent to this kind of cinema, the journal seeks to reconcile sharp and precise explanations of various experimental movements, with a great creative part inserted immediately, out of the pages. 

For the launch of “Cinéma Différent”, Claude Brunel and Jean-Paul Dupuis, two of the writers who have participated in the adventure, agreed to give us an interview. It was an opportunity for us to address in a broader perspective the CJC as a structure on those years and the status of experimental cinema. (read the interview) 


Each issue can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the appropriate link:


Cinéma différent n°1 (1st quarter 1976)

Cinéma différent n°2 (1st quarter 1976)

Cinéma différent n°3 (May 1976)

Cinéma différent n°4 (2nd quarter 1976)

Cinéma différent n°5/6 (July/Augustt 1976)

Cinéma différent n°7/8 (January/February 1977)

Cinéma différent n°9/10 (March/April 1977)

Cinéma différent n°11/12 (May/June 1977)

Cinéma différent n°13/15 (September 1977)

Cinéma différent n°16/17 (January 1978)

Cinéma différent n°18/20 (May 1978)

Cinéma différent n°21/22 (June 1978)

Cinéma différent n°23/25 (July/August/September 1978)

Cinéma différent n°26/28 (March/April/May 1980)


Last update : February 2019

1 BRUNEL Claude, "Editorial", Cinéma différent, nr 23/25, July/August/September 1979, p.3