ACID: 20 years of supporting indie production

The French indie movie support group ACID is celebrating 20 years of activity this year. The association was created by filmmakers as an alternative to the bottleneck of physical distribution in France (although the situation is even worse in the UK). It supports auto-produced movies and productions without a traditional distributor. However, their palette is large enough to also work with films that are neither.

The need for indie distribution

According to the organisation, the need for indie distribution has not changed in 20 years. The impressive box office figures hide a very strong market concentration as well as serious problems for the production and distribution of challenging films. According to them, “the recurring debate about having too many ‘little’ films leaves no room for the artistic value of cinema’. In other words, it’s not the size of the budget that should be the criterion, but the quality.

ACID screenings at Cannes

ACID will be screening nine movies at Cannes 2012, including five premieres. The screenings are open to everyone.

Casa Nostra by Nathan Nicholovitch (France) – auto-produced
The End de Hicham Lasri (Morocco)
Noor by Çagla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti (France)
Sharqiya by Ami Livne (Israel / France / Germany)
Stalingrad Lovers by Fleur Albert (France)
La tête la première by Amélie van Elmbt (Belgium)
La vierge, les coptes et moi by Namir Abdel Messeeh (France / Qatar / Egypt) – documentary
Ini Avan by Asoka Handagama (Sri Lanka) – distributed by Héliotrope Films
Room 514 by Sharon Bar-Ziv (Israël) – distributed par Sophie Dulac

ACID movie screenings in France

ACID ‘s participation in the Cannes Film Festival dates back to 1993, when they offered seven film screenings. In the following years this number rose to 10. The association also set up a “chain” of independent cinemas in Paris that hosted monthly meetings: first at the République, then at the Vidéothèque de Paris then at the Espace Saint-Michel. Each time a director presents the work of another director, and the screening is preceded by a short film and followed by a debate with the film crew.

Over time, ACID has partnered with more than 350 arthouse cinemas. Each year it organizes nearly 400 events (meetings, film concerts, workshops…). A “spectator network” program allows viewers to support films in theaters. ACID also organizes screenings with festivals, cultural venues or universities in France and around the world. At its creation, the action of the association was focused on small and medium-sized cities.

Over time, it has expanded to large French cities as the access of independent films to cinemas has deteriorated.

For details, visit ACID.


Michael Leahy

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