IndustryMentoring Scheme

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

Our key long-term objective is to broaden and deepen the talent pool for leadership in our sector and promote a culture of change within the industry that values growth and equal opportunities.

The initial pilot was launched at CineEurope 2017 to provide 6 ‘up and coming’ female cinema professionals with the unique opportunity to receive one-to-one career advice and guidance from a female senior industry executive recognised for her leadership and business success across the wider cinema landscape. The pilot was warmly welcomed by the industry and is now successfully rolling, with the fourth edition launched in June 2020.


More information on the programme is available here

Edna Epelbaum

CEO of Cinevital, Cinepel, Cinemont, Quinnie; President of the Swiss Cinema Operators' Association; Vice-President of UNIC

Montse Gil

Vice-President General Manager of Paramount Pictures, Spain

Veronica Lindholm

Managing Director of Finnkino

Corinne Thibaut

International Director, Cinema & Leisure at Coca-Cola

Dee Vassili

Executive Director, Group HR at Vue International

Sarah Lewthwaite

Managing Director, Senior Vice President EMEA Region at Movio

Edna Epelbaum

CEO of Cinevital, Cinepel, Cinemont, Quinnie; President of the Swiss Cinema Operators' Association; Vice-President of UNIC

Susanna Hermida Barbato

Executive Board Member at NOS Audiovisuais

Elisabeth Halvorsen

Chief Executive Officer of Bergen Kino

Clare Binns

Joint Managing Director at Picturehouse Cinemas & Picturehouse Entertainment

Mariam El Bacha

Chief Executive Officer of Cinepax Cinemas

Sarah Lewthwaite

Managing Director, Senior Vice President EMEA Region at Movio

Daniella Koot

Director Theatre Programming at Pathé Netherlands

Sofie Braet

COO of Cinionic

Nathalie Cieutat

Director of Programming at Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont

Helena Eklund

CMO, Marketing at Filmstaden

Cathy Huis in 't veld-Esser

CTO/Co-Owner of Gofilex

Petra Rockenfeller

Manager at Lichtburg Filmpalast

Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen

Chief Executive Officer of Novo Cinemas

Olga Zinyakova

President, KARO Cinema Chain

Eva Maria Valles Novel

HR Director, Spain & Portugal at Cinesa

Nathalie Cieutat

Director of Programming, Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont

Anne Fitzgerald

Chief Legal Officer and EVP, Real Estate, Cineplex

Norma Garcia-Muro

Head of Industry and Cinema Marketing at THX

Kate Gerova 

Marketing & Brand Director, Curzon

Jadranka Islamovic

CEO and Member of the Board, Blitz-CineStar

Grainne Peat

Managing Director, Event Cinema Association

Kaisa Rakemaa

Head of Sales, B2B at Finnkino

Géke Roelink

Managing Director of Filmhuis Den Haag

Bettina Schmidt


Greta Bisetto-Donelan

Global Director of Content Distribution, GENERATION MEDIA

Nuria Bronfman

Executive Director, Movie Theatre Association of Canada

Seneit Debese

Founder & CEO, Greta & Starks

Kassandra Dommisse-Reebergen

Country Manager Operations, Kinepolis The Netherlands

Daniela Elstner

Executive Director, UniFrance Film International

Yit-Ching Lee

Vice President EMEA, Paramount Pictures

Hannele Marjavaara

Cinema Manager, Kino Tapiola, Espoo, Finland

Funmilayo Marian Onuma

Country Manager, Silverbird Cinemas, Ghana

Zvjezdana Pavić

Director of Finance and Accounting, Blitz-CineStar

Bettina Schmidt

Head of Operations Cinema, blue Entertainment, Switzerland

Inés Trementino

Operations Director, Cinépolis Argentina

Georgina Broadhurst

Head of Corporate Sales & Advertising at Vue International

Maria Galvez

Head of HR at Yelmo Cines

Magdalena Lewicka

Finance and Reporting Director at Multikino S.A.  

Sandrine Liscia

Manager of theaters in Neuchâtel, Cinepel

Lucie Morvan

Assistant to the CEO at Yorck-Kino

Gráinne Peat

Policy Executive at UK Cinema Association

Lucia Anglade

Regional Cinema Operations Director at Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé

Marieke Jonker

Head of Content at Vue Netherlands 

Delia Kyburz

Head of Marketing and Events at Youcinema

Anna Malaret

Real Estate Director, Southern Europe at Cinesa 

Sharon Reid

Director of Marketing and Partnerships at Cinema First Limited

Valerie Thoen

International Human Capital Director at Kinepolis

Laura Weber

Chief Executive Officer at Cinecitta Multiplexkino

Angeliki Angelidou

Cinema Manager at Cineplexx Multiplexx Thessaloniki

Sévrine Breil

Regional Director at Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont

Susanne Fläxl

Managing Director at Cineplex Neufahrn

Anna Grunert

Market analyst at Helios

Louise McKenzie

UK Operations Director at Webedia Movies Pro

Alessandra Pavan Bernacchi

Senior Manager, Theatre Development, UK and Africa at IMAX

Rochelle Shanthakumar

CRM Campaign Manager at ODEON Cinemas Group

Hanna Szczepkowska

Management Assistant at Arsenal Cinema Tübingen

Clarissa Bergh

Cinema Director, Lillehammer Cinema

Rachel Bland

Screen Content Manager, VUE Entertainment

Monika Giełżecka

IT & Cinema Technology Manager, Multikino Group

Johanna Herfter

Manager Statistics and Research, Rentrak Germany/Comscore Inc.

Valeria Kurohtina

Group Programme Manager, CINAMON

Madelene Lorentzsson

Film Booker, Svenska Bio

Laura Mancilla

Brand Manager EMEA, Searchlight Pictures / Disney

Anna Paprocka

Group Content Manager, ODEON Cinemas Group

Olivia Taylor

Senior Marketing Manager, EMEA, IMAX

Nevena Brašanac

Booking & Exhibition Manager, CINEPLEXX INTERNATIONAL, Serbia

Nisha Denton

Head of Screen Content, CinemaxX, Germany

Patricia Edeline F. Antunes

COO and Booking Manager, Sociedad Cinematográfica de Centros Comerciales, SA, Spain

Elisabetta Hoch

General Manager, UCI Cinemas Bicocca Milan, Italy 

Natalia Mackiewicz

Cinema Programmer, Kinokawiarnia Stacja Falenica, Poland

Chloe Monteiro

Account Manager, EMEA, Movio

Boglárka Nagy

General Delegate, International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas (CICAE)

Charlotte F. Neumann

Senior Film Booking Manager, ODEON Kino Norway

Ogbonna Nkemakolam Chizoma

Business & Operations Manager, Filmhouse Cinema, Nigeria

Julia Vinokurova

Operations Management Consultant EMEAR, RealD 

Becky Tobin

Regional Manager, Curzon, UK

UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme: 4th Edition get-together

On 17 November, participants from the 4th edition of the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme convened in an online session to network and discuss their progress and experiences.

The traditional autumn get-together of the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme - usually taking place in Brussels during the UNIC Cinema Days - marks the mid-point of each edition and aims to provide an opportunity for participants to share their initial experiences, do’s and dont’s and explore different topics of interest together. This year, the meeting took place online and represented the first gathering of mentors and mentees of the current edition following its launch in June.  As is tradition, the meeting was moderated by Monica Chadha, Independent Director.

For an uplifting start, we always kick-off our meetings with an inspirational speaker. This session was no exception and we were extremely honored to welcome Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute and a pioneer of promoting gender equality in our sector. Anna shared her path to leadership, the challenges she had overcome and her secrets to success.

Following on from this, each mentoring pair explained how they approached the programme and how their mentoring journey had been so far. While the pandemic had made it more challenging to organise face-to-face meetings, it was extremely inspiring to hear how rewarding the individual mentoring sessions had been for both mentors and mentees in these challenging times.

We co-created the agenda for the meeting with our mentees to make sure that it best responded to their current needs. Therefore, the open debate that followed addressed mentees’ topics of interest, which were shared in advance. The discussion focused on personal branding, leadership and values, leading and motivating teams in times of uncertainty and so much more, with mentors around the table sharing their own experiences and advice.

Get-togethers like this constantly remind us how fortunate we have been throughout the past 3 years to work with such an inspiring and dedicated community of mentors and mentees, a community that is growing every year. You can meet some of them in the first video of the “What inspires you” series, which was launched last week!

In addition, to celebrate and keep our community connected, in September 2020 we also launched our UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme Newsletter which is sent out monthly and includes interviews with current and past participants, reading recommendations, useful information and more.

For participants of the fourth edition, the next six months of the programme will certainly be busy, but hopefully just as inspiring and rewarding as they get closer to their mentoring goals. On our side, to complement their individual mentoring meetings, we have activities in store ranging from a “switch mentors” month to group conference calls. We will also continue to closely monitor and facilitate their journey.  

And, until we will all convene in person at CineEurope 2021 in Barcelona to celebrate the programme and make up for the past year, we will have a Virtual Happy Hour with our community of mentors and mentees in December.