Kino is a movement founded in Montreal in 1999 with the goal to encourage production and distribution of independent and original films. It is a group of video and film artists that have the drive to produce works by refusing to take the only path - ''traditional'' production. Inspired by the word ''kinè''- Greek root meaning "movement" - Kino is now synonymous with independent and free production. Kino's mission is to bring together all the artists who believe that the relevance of a film does not just amount to the size of its production budget. This movement operates by the motto of its founder, Christian Laurence: ''Do well with nothing, do better with little, but do it now. ''
The Kino movement first started with monthly events, organized by members of each Kino ''cell'', which are referred to as kinoïtes. A variety of short films, with no or very few resources, are then presented to an audience. In a cabaret-like atmosphere, major directors come and take turns to present their films in person. The public is then invited to go and meet them during intermission or at the end of the evening. Therefore, this monthly event is a place of motivation that acts as a catalyst for artists.
Second, Kino is in the form of ''kabarets'' - a concept created by the movement, which is considered to be unique in its genre. The Kabarets are ''laboratories'' where film makers, comedians, musicians and other film artists come together to create freely. Often (but not exclusively), Kabarets are part of a film festival and are held in several regions across the globe. Montréal, Québec, Matane, Hull, Trouville (France), Hambourg (Germany), Adélaïde (Australia), and several other Kino cells organize regularly a Kabaret. The goal is to create a short film (under 10 minutes long) in 48 hours. Then, the result is presented to the public.
The added social value of Kino lies in the process of democratization of filmmaking, which the movement offers. This is a place for freedom and sharing of knowledge and technology, a place where anyone can work towards their art or towards enriching someone else's art, without censorship or limitations, aside from equipment limitations. Kino therefore acts as a testing ground and a launching pad for artists.
It is characterized by openness that it has demonstrated. Kino groups are open, without discrimination, to all those who wish to undertake a ''serious'' artistic project. The Kino movement targets first and foremost film, television and multimedia aritists, but it also welcomes anyone who feels that the cinematic adventure is their calling, regardless of their age or prior experience.
Since the success of the first Kabaret in Montreal in 2001, kinoïtes from various cells (Hamburg, Krakow, St. Petersburg and Helsinki) have adopted the Kabaret formula, which demonstrates the potential for expanding the Kino movement internationally. The Kino movement continues to spread and today there are more than 50 cells in 14 countries on four continents. If Kino's "mother cell" remains based in Montreal, all of the cells of Kino's movement can be managed freely.