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UNIC LAUNCHES THIRD EDITION OF WOMEN’S CINEMA LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

Press releases 2019-06-25

CineEurope 2019, Barcelona: 19 June 2019 - The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the European cinema trade grouping, today launched the third edition of its Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme, a 12-month mentoring programme for women in cinema exhibition. 

Following the success of the first two rounds of the programme, initially launched at CineEurope 2017, this year’s edition will see eight talented female European cinema professionals receiving one-to-one support and development advice from outstanding women executives from across the cinema landscape, recognised for their leadership and business success. 

This edition will also for the first time see the initiative expand its reach, welcoming mentees from UNIC’s Partnership Programme - itself composed of key players from across the cinema sector and beyond - to include participants from 14 different companies across 10 territories. 

The programme remains UNIC’s flagship initiative to address the need to encourage and empower female professionals in order for the industry to realise its full potential. The 2019/20 edition welcomes the following key female leaders and rising female professionals from across the cinema exhibition landscape: 

Mentors 

Sofie Braet (Cinionic, Belgium), Nathalie Cieutat (Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont, France), Helena Eklund (Filmstaden, Sweden), Cathy Huis in ‘t Veld-Esser (Gofilex B.V., The Netherlands), Petra Rockenfeller (AG Kino & Lichtburg Filmpalast, Germany), Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen (Novo Cinemas, UAE), Eva Maria Valles Novel (Cinesa, Spain), Olga Zinyakova (KARO Cinema Chain, Russia). 

Mentees 

Angeliki Angelidou (Cineplexx, Greece), Sévrine Breil (Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont, France), Susanne Fläxl (Cineplex Neufahrn, Germany), Anna Grunert (Helios, Poland), Louise McKenzie (Webedia Movies Pro, UK), Alessandra Pavan Bernacchi (IMAX, UK), Rochelle Shanthakumar (Odeon Cinemas Group, UK), Hanna Szczepkowska (Arsenal Cinema, Germany). 

Welcoming this latest edition of the programme, UNIC CEO Laura Houlgatte commented: 

“It’s with great pride that we at UNIC are continuing our committed efforts towards promoting more gender-balanced leadership within the industry. 

The success of the first two editions of the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme reflects not only the dedication of our inspiring mentors and mentees but also the continued need for discussions surrounding equal opportunities across the sector. 

We set out with the key long-term objective of broadening the talent pool for leadership in cinema exhibition, in the hope that the mentees of today would become the mentors of tomorrow. 

We’re delighted to be joined by such a fantastic group of industry professionals for this year’s edition and very much look forward to what the next 12 months have in store.” 

Notes for editors 

The UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme is a 12-month cross-sector, international mentoring scheme for women in cinema exhibition. 

Launched in 2017, the Programme is rooted in the belief that gender-balanced leadership in cinema exhibition is imperative for business success, better governance and more equity in the industry. 

More information can be found on the UNIC website here

The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) 

The Union Internationale des Cinémas/International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) represents the interests of cinema trade associations and cinema operators covering 38 countries in Europe and neighbouring regions. 

CineEurope 

CineEurope 2019 will take place from 17-20 June at the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain. CineEurope is the longest- running and most successful European convention and trade show for Major, Regional, and Independent cinema professionals. CineEurope will feature exclusive screenings and product presentations of upcoming films, sponsored events, timely and informative seminars and the CineEurope Trade Show. CineEurope is the Official Convention of the Union Internationale des Cinémas/International Union of Cinemas (UNIC).