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“Filmmakers have thousands of secrets, many that they don’t know they know. Sometimes we have to stop the movie, go back, and trace precisely how directors achieve their effects.”

— David Bordwell

CINEA is the nickname of the Flemish Service for Film Culture (VDFC), which has been spreading the knowledge of film history and film styles throughout Brussels and Flanders since its creation in 1994. During events such as the Summer Film College and online through the journal photogénie, CINEA highlights film heritage in all its intriguing facets and all its incarnations from the late nineteenth century until today, always from a film-historical and aesthetic standpoint.

Cinema belongs to everyone and is eminently the art that both stimulates and thrives on intense social connection. Therefore CINEA wants to create spaces and moments, both online and offline, where like-minded people can find each other, where there is room for debate and discovery; where both seasoned cinephiles and curious novices can find something to their liking, always with the rich collection and knowledge of CINEMATEK as its main source and the enthusiasm of film professor André Vandenbunder as its inspiration.

The name CINEA refers back to the start of the twentieth century, when artists and intellectuals gathered in the cinemas of modernist Paris, and touted film as the most modern of all art forms. They assembled in ciné-clubs and founded film journals, in which they published some of the first reflections on the medium. One of these journals, founded by filmmaker and critic Louis Delluc, was called Cinéa, which was later – when Delluc joined forces with Jean Esptein – known as Cinéa-Ciné pour tous.

“Cinema for All” is one reason for the name CINEA, another reason is related to the texts that could be found in magazines like Cinéa. The writings of the early French film critics and theorists are overflowing with these kinds of lyrical descriptions of fleeting actions or marginal details of the films they admired. Photogénie was the name they gave to the almost spiritual quality they attributed to these moments. Each of them had his own definition of the term, but Louis Delluc stressed the importance of the creative input of the filmmaker. However they imagined the concept, for them, photogénie permitted the spectator to see the world anew.

Wonderment and analysis are essential for CINEA, both in its live events, and online in the texts published under the title photogénie. In other words: filmmakers have thousands of secrets, CINEA lets you in on them!


CINEA is made possible by the support of the Flemish Audiovisual Fund.

CINEA is grateful to its structural partners for all their support: CINEMATEK, De Cinema, KASKcinema, Film-Plateau, Film Fest Gent, Mooov.