Quand les lesbiennes se font du cinéma

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The Cineffable team is a group of about 60 women, who work throughout the year to organise the festival. Cineffable is a non-hierarchical association: we have 60 heads, not one. All the important decisions are made jointly during the monthly plenary meetings.
To make the festival happen, we organise ourselves into groups responsible for different aspects of the overall event (programming, translation, finance, catering... to name but a few). Each of us participates in the team effort according to individual interests, abilities and availability.
Cineffable is also a great learning experience: we learn on the job, through working together, by sharing experience and know-how.
Each year during the festival we organise an information session when you can meet the team and find out more about the association. There is also an open meeting every January. Alternatively, leave us your contact details and we'll do the rest.

The Crew

Cineffable doesn't have a boss. The way it works is that the work is split between different commissions. Each commission commits to an objective. If each of them achieves its objective we will have a success.
Here the distinct commissions:

Debates / Workshops

The Budget: What Does it all Cost? And Who Does What?

The festival has no financial sponsors. Registration fees and cinema tickets sales alone are not enough to pay for the festival. We also have to rely on the profits from bar sales and the festival party not to mention the income from the few advertisements that we run. The festival could not happen if it were not for the hours of volunteer work put in by the team and festival goers during the festival and throughout the year. Making a small profit each year means that we can plan ahead for the next year, pay for the screen play competition and constantly improve on past performance.

Our goal: is to stay in the black but at the same time keep our prices as low as possible so that everyone can enjoy the festival. It also explains our reduced rates for students and the unemployed. Likewise price increases at the bar and for the catalogue have been kept to a minimum. And all the time, we continue to try to improve the quality and professionalism of the festival.

Your registration fees are fundamental to the festival. Cineffable is a non-profit organisation. Its services are available only to its members, which is precisely why the festival can be a women only event. At the same time, the registration fee, paid by all festival-goers and all the organisers, ensures our financial independence and covers running costs for the year.

The annual budget is about 67 000 euros. A lot less that the estimated cost of a small festival (190 000 euros according to the French Ministry of culture). So what is our secret? Simple: a huge lesbian volunteer force during the festival itself (some 2000 woman hours) and the freely given labour of the team throughout the year (another 3600 woman hours).
Since it was founded in 1989, the « Quand les lesbiennes se font du cinéma » festival has been self-financed by its audience. Its budget comes mainly from membership subscriptions, ticket sales and profits made in the cafeteria and parties.
In 2002, the team of organisers lodged for the first time an application for a subsidy from the Paris authorities. This decision, which was taken after a difficult discussion, was aimed at securing more visibility for the association and its activities, especially vis-à-vis the numerous activities for gays which are subsidised.
An operating subsidy of 15 000 euros was granted to the festival by the city of Paris authorities for the first time in 2003 and renewed in 2004, coming jointly from the Paris observatory on parity between women and men, and the cinema mission. Since 2005 the subsidy has been granted only by the observatory to a tune of 10 000 euros.
If today we can no longer claim to be totally self-financing, we would like to point out that in 2006 the subsidy only accounted for 15 percent of the association’s annual expenditure. In order to guarantee our autonomy we decided to devote this extra money to clearly defined activities: the hosting of foreign directors, a reduction of ticket prices, the free distribution of the catalogue to all members. So if the subsidy is lost it would be possible for us to return to the previous situation without putting the festival’s existence at risk.
The decision to apply for financing from the French institutions has had repercussions that we could not have anticipated. The association has come under attack from people who were previously unaware of our existence and were seeking more than anything to criticise the Paris authorities. The last attack in question came from the HALDE (the high authority in the fight against discrimination and for equality) which takes issue with our non-mixed approach.
However ironic it might seem when taking into account of the discrimination that we faced every day as women and lesbians, we were obliged to prepare an official response to explain how the way we work allows us to reserve access to the festival to women, who are members of the association.
For 2007, a new application has been made to the Paris authorities and for the first time to the region of Ile-de-France and the department of Seine Saint-Denis in a bid to increase the visibility of our organisation and its activities.
The financial assessments of each festival are in the menu Archives.