UNIC Launches Second Edition of Women’s Cinema Leadership Mentoring Program



CineEurope 2018, Barcelona: 13 June 2018 – The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the European Cinema trade grouping, today launched the second edition of its Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme, a 12-month mentoring programme for women in cinema exhibition.

Building on the success of a ground-breaking pilot programme, itself launched at CineEurope in 2017, this year’s edition will provide seven talented female European cinema professionals with the opportunity to receive one-to-one career advice, network and learn from outstanding women executives, recognised for their leadership and business success across the cinema landscape.

The programme represents 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 2018/19 edition welcomes a new group of key female leaders and rising female professionals from across the cinema exhibition landscape:


Clare Binns (Picturehouse, UK), Mariam el Bacha (Cinepax, Pakistan), Edna Epelbaum (Cinevital; Cinepel; Cinemont; Quinnie; Swiss Cinema Association, Switzerland), Elisabeth Halvorsen (Bergen Kino, Norway), Susanna Hermida Barbado (NOS Audiovisuais, Portugal), Daniella Koot (Pathé Netherlands, The Netherlands), Sarah Lewthwaite (Movio, UK).


Lucia Anglade (Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé, France), Marieke Jonker (Vue Netherlands, The Netherlands), Deliah Kyburz (Youcinema, Switzerland), Anna Malaret (Cinesa/Odeon Cinemas Group, Spain), Sharon Reid (Cinema First, UK), Valerie Thoen (Kinepolis Group, Belgium), Laura Weber (Cinecitta’ Multiplexkino, Germany).

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

“UNIC is very much dedicated to reinforcing the commitment of cinema exhibitors towards promoting more gender-balanced leadership within the industry. As a female professional working in cinema exhibition, this is an issue I feel very strongly about and wholeheartedly believe that you should never underestimate the value of role models and guidance. I also think that we need to become more inclusive if we want to attract and retain talent and come together as an industry to promote a culture of change that values growth and equal opportunities. That’s what the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme is all about; prompting our industry to be more engaged and aware of the business value of having more women in leadership roles.

Our key long-term objective is to broaden and deepen the talent pool for leadership in our industry and to transform the exhibition sector into a healthy environment where everyone can realise their full potential.

We’re delighted to welcome our new group of fantastic mentors and mentees for this year’s edition and would like to wish them all the best for what promises to be an exciting year.”

The UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme is a cross-sector, cross-company and international initiative, involving thirteen companies across ten territories.

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