Since 1979 Association des cinémas parallèles du Québec (ACPQ) has sought to improve access to diversified, quality cinema throughout Québec, thereby helping to promote the diversity of cultural expressions.
The association’s website notes that ACPQ’s raison d’être is to “bring together noncommercial cinema organizations across Québec in order to promote cinema throughout the province and to make diversified, quality cinema available for Quebecers to enjoy.”
A number of ACPQ members have come together under the RÉSEAU PLUS banner and receive programming support. Set up in 1992, the network focuses on broadcasting contemporary auteur films from Québec and further afield in 35 mm or digital format, depending on location. It boasts forty-odd theaters that are kept going by the commitment of all those involved across Québec. They are managed by nonprofit organizations and tend to be in cultural centers, concert halls, and auditoriums alongside other art forms.
Each theater features a carefully constructed program of 12 to 40 movies a year. They have often received awards or come to the fore at international film festivals, but tend not to be shown outside of major cities. Shorts are also shown and there is a special place for up-and-coming directors.
The OEIL CINÉMA program (Outil pour l’Éducation à l’Image et au Langage CINÉMAtographiques, or the Educational Tool for Cinema Pictures and Language) grants high school teachers free access to a bank of films and cinema-related teaching materials.
ACPQ also publishes Ciné-Bulles, a magazine available in French that focuses on auteur cinema.