Support From Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch and Celine Sciamma Brings New Dawn to Historic Paris Cinema La Clef

Paris’ historic La Clef cinema can turn the page on a five-year fight for survival thanks in no small part to donations from filmmakers Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, and Celine Sciamma, among several more.

The no-strings-attached donations will allow the community-run rep house to purchase the location’s physical property through parent organization Cinema Revival, first precluding any further threats of eviction and then funding substantial construction and administrative improvements.

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A landmark of Paris’ 5th Arrondissement since 1973, and fighting eviction since 2018, the left-bank theater will welcome filmgoers anew from June 27 – 30 – marking the happy occasion with a four-day victory lap, offering screenings free-of-charge – before launching a year’s worth of renovations to both bring the building up to standard and to add on a canteen that will double as an event space.

The Cinema Revival collective raised $430,000 through support from the likes of Lynch and Sciamma, matched with funds from Leos Carax, Agnès Jaoui, Wang Bing, Mathieu Amalric, Alain Cavalier, Sophie Fillières, Irène Jacob and Valérie Massadian. Subseqeuent donations Quentin Tarantino and Cedric Klapisch filled the collective’s coffers even more, helping to secure the $2.1 million needed to close the transaction.

Sciamma is also a member of the Cinema Revival board of administrators.

“We don’t just want to protect a local cinema,” says the La Clef board. “We must also defend the value of an institution measured less in square meters than by the opportunities for interaction and creativity. We believe such institutions should exist right at the heart of a major metropolis, and not on the outskirts once the market pushes them back.”

If for nothing else, this happy announcement should help lift the spirits of a film community rattled by the country’s impending parliamentary elections, which could very likely bring to power France’s the first far-right government since the Second World War.

“The grave political context and the anxiety it imparts make it more necessary than ever to have places to meet, to think and to build alternatives,” says the collective. ”We hope that this good news, however small, offers hope and strength to all those who are fighting, everywhere.”

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