Institut Français

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Institut français
Institut Français.svg
Founded1907; 115 years ago (1907)
TypeCultural institution, EPIC
Area served
ProductFrench cultural and language education
Key people
President: Pierre Buhler (2017-2020)
French filmmaker Stéphane Brizé (second from the right) in Buenos Aires in 2019, at an event supported by Institut français d'Argentine.

The Institut Français (French capitalization, Institut français; "French institute") is a French public industrial and commercial organization (EPIC). Started in 1907 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for promoting French, francophone as well as local cultures around the world, in 2011 it replaced the CulturesFrance project as the umbrella for all French cultural outreach projects,[1] with an expanded scope of work and increased resources (Decree No. 2010-1695 of 30 December 2010,[2] in response to the law relating to the external scope of the State adopted on 12 July 2010[3]).

Chaired by interim by its general director Erol Ok, who is assisted by Clément Bodeur-Cremieux, Secretary General,[4] the French Institute works closely with the French cultural network abroad consisting of more than 150 branches and nearly 1000 branches of the Alliance française around the world. The process of incorporating the cultural networks of a dozen diplomatic missions has been conducted from January 2011 to 2014 as an experiment: Cambodia, Chile, Denmark, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Georgia, Ghana, India, Kuwait, UK, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore and Syria (suspended due to the political situation in Syria.)

The government has entrusted the Institut Français with promoting French culture abroad through artistic exchanges: performing arts, visual arts, architecture, the worldwide diffusion of French books, film, technology and ideas. Accordingly, the institute has developed a new scientific program for the dissemination of culture.

The Institut Français welcomes foreign cultural missions through the organization of "seasons" or festivals and cooperation with the countries of the south, including ensuring the management of the funds of "Fonds Sud Cinema" in partnership with the National Center of Cinematography and the moving image.

It also provides training for newly formed missions and professionalization of staff of the international French cultural network.

History of French cultural institutes and centers[edit]

The first French institute, the Institut français de Florence, was established in 1907 in Florence by Julien Luchaire, with the help of the Faculty of Arts of Grenoble, followed by others would play an important role in the creation of deep cultural ties between France and other country.

Historically the French institutions established in the first half of the 20th century were committed to academic institutions, while the French cultural centers, usually created later in the second half of the 20th century or the beginning of the 21st century, were created by the French government. This difference does not exist anymore and cultural centers are now adopting the name of Institut Français.

Some institutions have a bi-national status, governed by a bilateral agreement between the governments, particularly in Guinea (Conakry), Guinea Bissau ( Bissau), Mozambique ( Maputo), Namibia ( Windhoek) and Niger (Jean Rouch Franco-Nigerien Cultural Centre of Niamey ).

The 143 French institutions and French cultural centers are institutions located outside France under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and charged with promoting intellectual and cultural audiovisual cooperation between professionals, to present the French, Francophone as well as local traditional and contemporary art for all audiences (to begin with, with the young audience), to promote French higher education to foreign students and teachers and offer a complete range of courses and international examinations for the French language.

They usually have, in the embassies of France which they depend on, a financially (but not legally) autonomous status. This also gives its director the status of authorising and being accountable for the budget devoted to the establishment (which is a grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from its own resources) and a reserve fund not limited to the year, which enables the creation of multi-year programs.

They are funded fully or partially by their own revenues raised by teaching French as official language or as a foreign language (depending on the countries) and sponsorship (for those with a genuine ambition in terms of cultural engineering).

Institut Français - Estonia

Moreover, the French research institutes abroad (IFRE) depend jointly on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CNRS.

Today, French institutions and French cultural centers (RTCs) are essential levers for the development of cooperation between network professionals culture and education as well as for the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity.

Institut français - Madrid
Institut français - Barcelona
Institut français du Japon – Kansai
Institut français - Stuttgart
Institut francais de Hongrie - Budapest

Some international French institutes[edit]

Cultural institutes[edit]

In Europe[edit]

Institut français in Bucharest, Romania

Outside Europe[edit]


Research institutes IFRE[edit]


  1. ^ Siegfried Forster, "CulturesFrance devient 'L’Institut français' et la culture s’élargit", RFI Afrique, July 21, 2010, updated July 26, 2010, (in French).
  2. ^[bare URL]
  3. ^ LOI n° 2010-873 du 27 juillet 2010 relative à l'action extérieure de l'Etat, 27 July 2010, retrieved 2019-02-18
  4. ^ Institut Français organigramme