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.