Cannes: Chanel Backs Relaunch of Art House Streamer Le Cinéma Club (Exclusive)

'Keep It for Yourself'

The fashion giant will support the free global service's June 14 relaunch with Claire Denis’ long unseen 1991 work 'Keep It for Yourself,' featuring Vincent Gallo and Sara Driver.

Le Cinéma Club, a global free streaming platform that focuses on art house films, is relaunching its service next month with a redesigned site and exclusive new content with the backing of fashion giant Chanel.

The rebooted Cinéma Club will kick off June 14 with Keep It for Yourself, a 40-minute film from French director Claire Denis (High-Life, 35 Shots of Rum), starring Vincent Gallo and Sara Driver. The early work — made in 1991 — was recently rediscovered.

Chanel is backing the relaunch, which will see Cinéma Club stream a film per week for free to its subscribers. The focus will be on restored or rediscovered projects, particularly short films.

The initial lineup includes Chris Marker’s The Koumiko Mystery (1965), a portrait of a young woman in Tokyo set against the 1964 Olympics; Adepero Oduye’s 2017's To Be Free, a short feature in which the director stars as Nina Simone; and A Straightforward Boy, a 1929 short from Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story).

“With Le Cinéma Club my wish has always been to create a distinctive, dynamic and contemporary space for cinema online, and to address the need for new avenues of film distribution and promotion in a rapidly shifting media landscape,” said founder Marie-Louise Khondji. “We’re delighted to bring Le Cinéma Club 2.0 to our global audience, and we couldn’t be more honored or grateful for Chanel's support.”

The platform is also adding theatrical screenings, with a series of collaborations with film and art venues, including a monthlong “takeover” of the site by the Cinémathèque Française film archive in Paris.

The revamped Cinéma Club will feature interviews with up-and-coming filmmakers, including Mati Diop, who is in the Cannes competition lineup this year with Atlantics, and Joe Talbot, the director of Sundance winner Last Black Man in San Francisco.

The site will also restart its popular curated lists of recommended films from art house directors, with participants including Denis, Chloë Sevigny, Wes Anderson, Luca Guadagnino, Isabelle Huppert and many others.

Unlike other streamers, Le Cinéma Club works promotionally, with all the films streamed on the site presented for free with the permissions of the rightsholders.