Free cinema screenings in Paris

Cinemas, open-air screenings and film festivals: where to enjoy free films in Paris

Nota Bene - Covid
Festival Silhouette © Olivier Schmitt

There are plenty of places to watch films for free in Paris.

Every summer, the Cinéma en Plein Air festival screens films free of cost in the Parc de La Villette, France’s biggest open-air cinema. The programme features everything from classics to Hollywood blockbusters, French comedies and short films by upcoming directors, which are all screened after sunset.

In the 11th arrondissement, La Chaise et L’Ecran is a festival devoted each year to a different director. They pick five of their films to be shown in summer on a screen installed in a neighbourhood square. Of note: most French films have English subtitles.

In early June, local associations in the Ménilmontant district jointly organize the Festival des Canotiers. The programme includes film screenings, concerts and exhibitions, most of which are held in Place Maurice Chevalier in the 20th arrondissement.

The Silhouette festival, held from end-August to early September every year in the Butte du Chapeau Rouge square in the 19th arrondissement and other places, screens short films.

To see the best international short films, attend the Nuits en Or event: over three nights in June, the UGC Odeon cinema screens short films that have won awards in the various international cinema academies. Not to miss!

The festival Cinéma du Réel, which takes place annually in the spring, in various Parisian cinemas, offers some free screenings. The programme includes long and short international documentary films and retrospectives of great directors.

If you’ve always wanted to watch a film on a houseboat, La Péniche Cinéma is the place to go. This barge moored along the Canal de l’Ourcq has a large cinema screen and shows films free of cost every week, all year round.

La Péniche Cinéma

Canl de l'Ourcq - Parc de la Villette - 59 boulevard MacDonald, Paris, 75019

Moored on the canal de l'Ourcq, in the heart of the Parc de la Villette, the Péniche Cinéma offers screenings of short films,......

Festival des canotiers

from 07 July 2021 to 11 July 2021
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

The multidisciplinary festival takes place in good fun!

Silhouette Festival

Festival | Show - miscellaneous
August - September 2022
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

For a week at the end of summer, the Silhouette association puts on a free festival dedicated to short films.

Open Air Cinema at La Villette

Festival | Show - miscellaneous
from 16 July 2021 to 22 August 2021
Parc de La Villette - Plein Air - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

A cultural highlight every summer, the festival welcomes thousands of film fans with a programme of French and international films

Cinéma du Réel festival (Cancelled)

from 12 March 2021 to 21 March 2021
Bibliothèque Publique d'Information - BPI - Centre Pompidou - Rue Beaubourg, Paris

International documentary film festival.

La Chaise et l’écran

from 13 July 2021 to 24 August 2021
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

Cinema festival in the 11th arrondissement.