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 third edition launched at CineEurope 2019.

 

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

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


UNIC Women's Cinema Leadership Programme Cinema Days Meeting


On October 15, during our UNIC Cinema Days, participants of the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme met to discuss their progress, share thoughts on the programme and network with their fellow mentors and mentees. This meeting was the first group get-together since the second edition kicked-off at CineEurope in June. 

Since its inception in 2017, mentors and mentees from the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme have benefited from the UNIC Cinema Days as a place to reconvene, meet and connect with other industry experts and receive further support in their mentoring process. This year was no different, with the annual meeting taking place at the Radisson Blu Royal in Brussels before the official start of the event. As creating a community of women leaders that both inspire and empower is one of UNIC’s main objectives, participants of the first edition were welcomed alongside current mentors and mentees and the meeting was moderated by Monica Chadha, Senior Media Executive.

To kick off the mentoring meetings, UNIC always invites an inspirational speaker to share their insights and experiences on their rise to leadership. For this edition, we were delighted to welcome Madi Sharma, Entrepreneur, Author of the book Madi, no excuses and Member of the Employers Group of The European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. Madi is a renowned international speaker, particularly in the field of female entrepreneurship, diversity and gender balance, who in May 2018 was listed as one of Apolitical's 100 most influential people in gender policy around the world.

After a discussion with Madi, each mentoring pair shared how they approached the programme and whether they encountered any difficulties in their journey so far. While UNIC provides guidance, it still leaves it up to each mentor and mentee to decide how they want to develop and build their relationship. Therefore, it is always interesting to hear each pair’s point of view in terms of the mentoring process, along with their own activities and agenda.

The programme grows together with mentors and mentees and their feedback on how UNIC can make their experience as rewarding as possible is crucial. This year, for instance, part of the session was co-developed with the mentees, with them deciding on the topics to focus on, which ranged from how to develop your own brand to how to balance your personal and professional life. Therefore, the open debate that followed addressed their questions and areas of interest, with mentors sharing their own experiences and advice.  

To shine a light on other initiatives in the industry, French Exhibitor Eva Letzgus was invited to present her initiative, a Female Cinema Exhibitors’ Network in France to attract young people to and promote women in the profession. The meeting was followed by a networking lunch, where the group had the opportunity to further continue their discussion. 

The next eight months promise to be even more exciting for the mentors and mentees, with them deepening their mentoring relationship and getting closer and closer to their objectives. Furthermore, additional activities will follow at the beginning of next year, such as a job shadowing exercise and a stretch project, an assignment recommended for mentees in order to go beyond their comfort zone. UNIC will be monitoring progress and doing everything it can to help facilitate the journey. 

Thanks to all of our fantastic mentors and mentees for their dedication and motivation. This programme would not be possible without a group of inspiring women who are eager to give back to the industry and a group of outstanding female professionals willing to learn, grow and change the face of the cinema industry for the better.

About the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme: 

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. You can find more information about the programme and current participants here.   

Programme Coordinator: Diana Stratan / dstratan@unic-cinemas.org