Category Archives: Actualités

Avanti, Navire Argo!

© L’Abominable – Thanks to Emilion Baudeau for the model

Hello everyone,

We have raised the funds to make Navire Argo possible!!!

This morning of the 7th of march, we have signed a 35-year, rent-free emphyteutic lease, and renovation work on the building in the former Éclair laboratories will begin soon.

In 2025, we will move into the renovated building, install our lab equipment, and we’ll be able to return to making films outside the confines of the film industry – and to show them to the public in the adjacent screening room dedicated to photochemical film.

Thanks to all those who signed the call for support on the Naviro Argo website and to those who contributed financially, in France and abroad. We will use this money to meet expenses that are ineligible for the public funding that we have secured.

Thanks to all the public partners who have supported and accompanied us on this adventure: the National Center for Cinema and the Moving Image (€700,000), the Île-de-France Region (€748,000), the Seine-Saint-Denis Department (€700,000), and the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, who have rounded out the funding through the Green Fund program (€1,2 million), making it possible for us to finance the heavy-duty renovation project.

Thanks to the City of Épinay-sur-Seine for their faith in Navire Argo and for giving the opportunity of a permanent home to an organization that was used to the temporary.

Thanks to our two architects, Michel Gravayat and François Le Pivain, who have patiently accompanied us from the outset of our crazy venture, confident that we would succeed.

Thanks to all those who have helped us in concrete ways, giving their time, their attention, their advice and ideas, whether they were carried out or not, among the hundreds that we mulled over during the two hard years that are now behind us.

Thanks to all the curators, film festivals and collectives that organized screenings in support of Navire Argo, and to the press who help us spread the word about the project.

Thanks to all the filmmakers who donated their time to help us move 125 crates and all the machines to the building within the Éclair site that has been lent to us temporarily by the City of Épinay-sur-Seine while we wait for the renovation process to be completed.

More broadly, thanks to all the filmmakers and collectives that have used the laboratory since 1996 to make over 400 films, installations, and performances, whom we hope to see again working on the machines very soon, and to those who have programmed these works in screenings, giving meaning to the tool that we’ve been building for almost 30 years.

A laboratory that has been patiently assembled from salvaged materials, donated equipment, and inexpensive acquisitions, a laboratory that represents today a complete chain of production, will live on, nurturing the spirit of sharing and invention in the very place that emblematized the cinema industry in the days of photochemical film.

In parallel to the renovation, we are going to build the Navire Argo film collection, working with archives, collectors, filmmakers, and distributors willing to entrust us with photochemical film prints – shorts or features, 35mm or 16mm, contemporary or historic – which we will conserve in optimal conditions in exchange for the right to project them for the public in our screening space.

Navire Argo will be in tune with other places in France and around the world that are working to ensure that this medium will continue to be used into the 22nd century!

More broadly, we aspire to be a place open to others at a time when this is increasingly rare.

Today, we have a special thought for our comrade, Christophe Goulard, who took care of the machines that have served us all these years, and who left us last summer, before the Navire reached its destination.

We look forward to seeing you in the spring for a special screening to celebrate the launch of the renovation : the 26th of april at the Écran cinema in Saint-Denis and the 27th of april at the Reflet Médicis in Paris, with the film magazine Les cahiers du cinéma.

Follow the photos of the construction site over the months on our Instagram!

Dismantling of the Photomec – january 2024 © L’Abominable

Christophe Goulard (1967-2023)

We lost our comrade Christophe Goulard on the morning of July 3rd.
His was suffering from a lung cancer that was diagnosed this winter – too late.
We are devastated.
Christophe and L’Abominable first crossed paths in 1999 and he quickly took on an essential role at the lab. He moved into an apartment above our former space in Asnières, where he became a part of our day-to-day life and put his precision and inexhaustible technical know-how to the service of filmmakers. In 2014, he left a job in the public school system and joined our non-profit as a employee. In parallel, he developed an activity repairing cameras and acquired an extraordinary expertise that vanishes with him.
It is impossible to count all the projects carried out together restoring machines, repairing them day and night, inventing new ones, and imagining others which will doubtlessly never come to fruition.
But above all, he was a true friend to me, one of uncompromising integrity.
With his passing, a period comes to a close.
It is a sad paradox that this has happened at the very moment that we are given the opportunity to give a permanent home to all the work we have accomplished, in large part thanks to Christophe, over the last 25 years.
With each day that goes by, my brother-in-arms will be missed.
Nicolas Rey
A funeral will take place at the crematorium of Rennes Métropole, la Clairière du Plessis 35770 Vern-sur-Seiche, on Tuesday, July 11th at 4:15 PM. It is possible to see the body at the funeral home Cochet-Bretel, 15 Rue du Champs Martin , 35770 Vern-sur-Seiche.

Help us build Navire Argo!

We have made significant progress with the Navire Argo at Éclair project – but we still need to find a large part of the funding before we start the renovation of the building!

After a year of fundraising, we have gathered approximately 2 million euros to renovate the building that will house Navire Argo, primarily through our public sector partners (CNC, Île-de-France region, Seine-Saint-Denis department), the support of the city of Épinay-sur-Seine, and also thanks to the crowdfunding campaign which helped us to get the project off the ground.

We are relaunching this crowdfunding campaign, with a focus on the cinema that we will open.

This soon-to-be cinema, located next to the entrance to the Éclair complex, was once a screening room for clients who came to view films that were being finalized, and was only used by a few people at a time!

After renovations, we will inaugurate a 70-seat cinema with a projection booth specially equipped for screening film prints – right where these prints were (and will continue to be) made! Navire Argo will be a unique venue in France and Europe and will keep the experience of photochemical film projection alive for decades to come, by means of an eclectic mix of historical works shown on their original format and contemporary films made on film.

A second space will be dedicated to pedagogical activities, ranging from youth and school workshops to professional training sessions. This space will also be used for live performances, installations, and exhibitions, most notably during the annual festival that we will organize.

At the entrance, a lobby-bar will be a convivial meeting place where you’ll be able to get a drink before the screening or savor a hot soup while discussing the film you just saw.

Every donation counts! With this campaign, we are seeking to raise €50,000 in France and €50,000 abroad, for a total of €100,000 out of the €700,000 needed to complete funding and start renovations for the entirety of Navire Argo (both our artist-run film lab and the cinema) in the spring.

All our donors will be invited to visit Navire Argo during an open-house day once we open!

We are also offering:

– Donations between €50 and €299: 10 tickets (shareable with friends and family) for your first screenings at Navire Argo!

– Donations between €300 and €2,999: a year-long unlimited pass to attend as many screenings as you like!

– Donations between €3,000 and €9,999: a 5-year unlimited pass to attend as many screenings as you like, and the possibility of screening a film of your choice!

– Over €10,000: a life-long pass to all future screenings at Navire Argo!

If you are a French tax resident, don’t forget that you can receive a tax deduction thanks to our partner Artutti. This means that a €100 donation will cost you only €34, a €1,000 donation only €340, etc., as the difference will be deducted from your taxes.

And, of course, you can also support us by spreading the word about our crowdfunding campaign (facebook post link here) and by signing the call for support at!

Photomec processors for sale

We are selling to the benefit of the Navire Argo project the three Photomec processors that are still present at ÉCLAIR labs in Epinay-sur-Seine, France. These machines are currently set up in the future premises of the Navire Argo. 

Manufactured between 1997 and 2000, two of these machines are designed for color negative ECN-2 and one is a Black & White neg/pos machine.

The ECN-2 machines were used by ÉCLAIR at 100fpm (1800 m/h) and the B&W between 25 and 133 fpm (420 to 2400 m/h) depending on the process. They are complete and in running order even though they haven’t been used since 2015.

Andy and David Wright from Photomec (UK) would be willing to assist with the dismantling of the machines before they can be shipped and reinstalled. These machines are still state-of-the-art and very similar to the machines manufactured by Photomec to this day.

We can also propose an experienced technician ready to relocate these machines to your lab and make sure they work once reconstructed.

If you are interested, please get in touch and make an offer to