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In 1955, UNESCO organized a series of consultations, under the chairmanship of Professor Paul Rivet, to further the work of the International Institute of Educational Cinema, which was previously attached to the League of Nations.


On the occasion of the General Conference of UNESCO held in New Delhi in 1956, the project of establishing an International Institute of Cinema and Television, presented by Professor Mario Verdone, Head of the Italian Delegation was approved. The project was entrusted to Jean Benoit-Levy, filmmaker and honorary director of the United Nations Cinema, assisted by a group of twelve international experts. The Constitutional Charter of the ICFT was signed on the 23rd of October 1958, and the leading federations and associations working in the field of audiovisual media became the founding members of the ICFT.


John Maddison, the first president of CICT-ICFT


R.S. Professeur Enrico Fulchignoni


Jean Rouch, Cineaste/Ethnologist

In 1980, with the emergence of new technologies, the Council, under Professor Enrico Fulchignoni, Director of Artistic and Literary Creation at UNESCO and President of the ICFT, decided to add Audiovisual Communication to the Council's mission.


Since the creation of ICFT, the presidency has been held by: John Maddison (ISFA), Jean d’Arcy (RTF-UN), Raymond Ravar (CILECT), Mario Verdone (CIDALC), Fred Orain (Production), Enrico Fulchignoni (UNESCO), Gérard Bolla (UNESCO) Christopher Roads (British Library), Jean Rouch (CIFES), Daniel Van Espen (Signis), Pierpaolo Saporito (OCCAM), Jean-Michel Arnold (Camera), Hisanori Isomura (NHK) and Ambassador Inoussa Ousseini (Permanent Delegate of Niger to UNESCO, Film Director).


At present, ICFT is managed by an Executive Committee comprised of Pierpaolo Saporito (OCCAM) President ad interim, Serge Michel (UNICA) Vice President, Agnès Ravoyard (SIGNIS), Isabel Danel (FIPRESCI) Executive Members, Georges Dupont (ORTF-TDF-INA-UNESCO) Director General and Treasurer ad interim and Xueyuan Hun (PCI) Consultant.


Hisanori Isomura, former Director General of NHK

CICT (3).jfif

Inoussa Ousseini, ambassador, film director


The mission of the ICFT is to:


  • Initiate a synergy among creators, professionals and media executives by developing collaboration among its members, especially in the service of the broad orientations of UNESCO, the 2005 Convention and the UN Sustainable Development Goals ;

  • Set up an arena where professionals in the audiovisual field can exchange their views and suggestions and present them to an international audience;

  • Stimulate the creation and  promote the production and distribution of high-standard audiovisual work, in particular that of young people;

  • Encourage and organize training, talent development and research in all audiovisual areas;

  • Offer a space for reflection on the development of technologies in the service of creation, education and culture;

  • Advise international organizations and countries on the implementation of artistic, educational and industrial policies;

  • Contribute to the development of communication and information, especially in the field of free flow of information, freedom of expression and human rights;

  • Represent the interests of its Members at UNESCO.


The first World Congress for Film Producers and Scientific Programmes Eiffel Tower, 1995

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