New year, New Ideas ! Join the Debate at the Institut français online

New year, new ideas!

Launched by the Institut français in 2016, the Night of Ideas is a project staged simultaneously in Paris, London and worldwide, at the end of January.

Don’t miss the Night of Ideas in the UK, an exceptional week-long festival from 22 to 29 January, produced onsite at the Institut français and live streamed online. Echoing the main theme of this year’s edition, “Together”, a programme of films, Before the Night (22 – 25 January) will precede a series of thought-provoking and free debates (26 - 29 January).
▶️ Enter into the Night

Before the Night presents an exciting and inspiring selection of films exploring different ways of being in the world and questioning our relation to nature, time, identity and one another.
▶️ Discover Before the Night

More films await you with MyFrenchFilmFestival, a worldwide online showcase, brought to you by Unifrance. Packed with the latest and hottest titles, the festival presents a mix of short films and full-length features from 15 January to 15 February.
▶️ Pick your film
▶️ Watch the trailer

Scroll down for the full offer.

Stay home, stay safe, stay tuned.

Before the Night

Fritzi – a Revolutionary Tale

22, 23 & 24 Jan | £2

Cinékids | 10 +

Telling the story of the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 from a child’s perspective, this moving animated film reveals how ‘speaking to each other’ when free speech was not allowed managed to change the world from within.

▶️ Read more

Touki Bouki

22 Jan - 6:30pm | Free

A Bonnie and Clyde-esque journey across the outskirts of Dakar for two lovers raising money to move to Paris, Touki Bouki conveys the hybridisation of Senegal and evolving ways of being together.

+ intro by film curator Kinyua Kamau

▶️ Read more

Waiting for Happiness

23 Jan - 6:30pm | Free

Abderrahmane Sissako (Timbuktu) offers a poetic reflection on the sense of displacement felt by a student returning from France to his home in Mauritania, having lost touch with his roots and questioning his identity.

+ intro by film curator Kinyua Kamau

▶️ Read more

Teza + My Love, Ethiopia

24 Jan - 6:30pm | Free

Teza and short animated film My Love, Ethiopia, are both journeys of alienated characters yearning for (re)connection. These dense, lyrical and sharply political films are two love letters to Ethiopia, turning a lens on the oppressive structures and traditional patriarchal culture that stifle free speech.

+ intro by film curator Kinyua Kamau

▶️ Read more

Jacques Mayol: Dolphin Man + The Mammalian Reflex

25 & 26 Jan | £2

Immerse yourself into the sensory experience of the deep blue sea with Dolphin Man, a documentary on the legendary free-diver Jacques Mayol, and The Mammalian Reflex, a poetic portrait of British free-diver Maria Teresa Solomons. Both films bring a new consciousness on how to be at one with nature.

▶️ Read more


25 Jan - 6:30pm | Free

Raoul Peck’s powerful political film depicts the final months of visionary African leader Lumumba, whose life was cut short because of his opposition to foreign imperialism.

+ intro by film curator Kinyua Kamau

▶️ Read more

Bookings for the films open on 18 Jan

Night of Ideas

The Night of Ideas

22 - 29 Jan

At a time when our salvation depends on the distance we put between each other, when countries are redefining their borders, when our way of life jeopardises the whole biosphere, do we have to reinvent new ways of being close to one another and to the world? If we wonder how we can face today’s crises, the answer is perhaps: together.

Writers, philosophers, artists, historians and journalists: 30 leading figures will discuss new ways of being together. Join the debate.

▶️ Check the programme
▶️ Follow the livestreams on Youtube
▶️ Join the Facebook Lives

The Little Night

28 Jan

The Little Night offers our youngest the opportunity to develop their imagination, sharpen their creativity and express themselves through a series of interactive multimedia events and projects, reflecting the theme "Together".

▶️ Join the design workshop on 28 Jan
▶️ Read more about the school projects

In the Spotlight


15 Jan - 15 Feb

Discover MyFrenchFilmFestival, an online showcase featuring films from newcomers as well as veteran directors, movies for the whole family, coming-of-age stories and an overall celebration of female figures.

▶️ Choose your film!

Prix Marcel Duchamp 2021

Previously supported by Fluxus Art Projects, the contemporary art fund run by the French Institute, Isabelle Cornaro, Julien Creuzet and Lili Reynaud-Dewar are nominated alongside Julian Charrière for the prestigious Prix Marcel Duchamp 2021! Do not miss the collective exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the final reveal planned later this year.

▶️ Find out more about Fluxus Art Projects

Kids Corner

Inspired Writers

19 & 26 Jan - 4pm – 6+

Online Writing Workshop

Creative kids could become the next Shakespeare or Jules Verne with this writing workshop! This month, they will learn to play with words in the style of the OULIPO and develop their writing skills.

▶️ Online Booking

Virtual Escape Game

Anytime from 21 Jan to 31 March - ages 8-99

Online Game

Discover the Bibliothèque Quentin Blake like you've never seen it with this online escape game. Gather your friends, colleagues or your family members, take a notepad and try to escape the ghost!

▶️ Online Booking

Small Dungeons & Little Dragons

22 Jan - 4pm - ages 6-10

Online Role Playing Game

Enter a world of fantasy where you can be anyone (an elf, a magician, an alien…) and follow adventures ahead. Defeating monsters, escaping traps, this is what awaits you in this role playing game.

▶️ Online Booking

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