Cinessance has launched today in the US and Canada, bringing a catalogue of classic and modern movies to fans of French culture and cinema who are currently underserved by the major streaming services.
Cinessance, the first French-film streaming platform, launches today in the US and Canada. Consumers will have access to a curated catalogue of classic and modern movies with subtitles in French and English for $6.99/month as well as pay-per-view options.
France is the second largest exporter of movies in the world, but only 3% of Netflix’s catalogue features French films, according to a recent study from Unifrance. French expats, francophiles and cinema-lovers have had no option to access the award-winning and globally-recognized catalogue of French cinema.
Cinessance’s catalogue offers movies starring classing actors such as Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Gabin, and Louis de Funès, as well as modern actors such as Jean Dujardin, Ana Girardot, Marion Cotillard, and Vincent Cassel.
The platform offers a place to explore the catalogues of beloved actresses such as Audrey Tautou from Amélie, Camille Cottin from the recent hit show Call My Agent and Romy Schneider from the classic 1969 movie La Piscine, which was revived for an unprecedented 16 weeks in New York City this past summer.
They are launching with a wide array of movies, acquired from many of the most established French studios, such as TF1 Studio, StudioCanal and EuropaCorp, with plans to expand the catalogue to 500 movies as early as mid 2022.
Clément Monnet, Cinessance Founder & CEO, is a French expat who’s lived across four continents – Europe, Asia, South America and North America. “I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried to watch a French movie and couldn’t find it online. Like many French expats, I try to stay connected with my roots and to share my culture with others, so I couldn’t be more excited to share the gift of French film via Cinessance.”
He’s a serial entrepreneur, having previously co-founded Voom, the “Uber for Helicopters.”
Vulture: The launch of the streamer feels more like the hors d’oeuvres than the entrée. It’s a good taste for those who want to dip their toes into French cinema beyond Amélie but don’t know where to start. While Netflix has all but abandoned streaming films over 40 years old, that baton has been picked up by the likes of Criterion Channel or Mubi. What Cinessance is offering may not be a history lesson, or the latest buzzy titles like Portrait of a Lady on Fire or Titane, but instead a solution to Monnet’s personal yet relatable problem: wanting to show your American friends the latest French movie that’s all the rage back home, but never makes it to US theaters without some serious awards backing.”
In spite of launching with a modest library and features still in the works, Cinessance has a lot of exciting content for those wanting to go a bit outside the “mainstream” idea of French cinema, at least in America, and the curation element does aid in making the decision of what to watch a bit easier. Besides, while Netflix has multimillion-dollar productions and Disney+ has an endless IP, where else can you watch a comedy about a chicken learning about Cyrano de Bergerac?
Cis available on the web and app for both iOS, and Android with support for casting via Chromecast and AirPlay. They plan to add more streaming services options in the coming months, including support for ISPs and smartTVs thanks to their partnership with MyBundleTV and 24i respectively.