A film society is a membership-based club where people can watch screenings of films which would otherwise not be shown in mainstream cinemas. In Spain, Ireland and Italy, they are known as "cineclubs", and in Germany they are known as "filmclubs". They usually have an educational aim, introducing new audiences to different audiovisual works through an organized and prepared program of screenings.
Editorial output reinforces the work of these organisations, as they produce hand-programmes, brochures, schedules, information sheets, and even essays, supporting the significance of their exhibitions. A common feature that may characterize a film society screening is that they begin with an introduction of the film to the audience, and end with the promotion of a discussion about the film, where assistants, organizers and sometimes the filmmakers themselves, exchange their views.
There are networks in many different countries, and these are organized into federations, councils, collectives, and local networks. Famous film societies include Amos Vogel's Cinema 16, Cinémathèque Française, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.