Founded in 1910 by a private benefactor eager to introduce Londoners to French artists and writers, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni (French Cultural Institute in the UK) is the official French government centre of language and culture in the UK. It is one of 150 French Institutes worldwide, and one of the oldest.
Over the years the Institut has had many locations; the current premises in South Kensington, a stylish art deco building comprising theatre, library and reception rooms, was opened in 1939. Since then, many great names have passed through its doors, among them Jean Renoir, Eugène Ionesco, Catherine Deneuve and Michel Tournier.
The Institut français exists to promote French language and culture, but also to encourage cross-cultural exchange. The programmation of talks and films reflects this dual aim, with speakers from both sides of the Channel meeting regularly in discussion, and screenings of films from all corners of the world. and
The Institut welcomes thousands of people each year, attracted by the quality of its services and its imaginative programme of films and events.
17 Queensberry Place,
020 7871 3515