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Vista Group, Imax and Barco Named as 2024 Champions of UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme


Brussels: 22 April 2024 - The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the European cinema trade grouping, has today announced that IMAX Corporation, Vista Group - for the third consecutive year - and Barco - joining as new sponsor - have signed up to support its flagship Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme. UNIC has already selected mentors and mentees to take part in the eighth edition of the initiative to run from 2024-25.

As joint sponsorship partners, IMAX, Vista Group, and Barco will serve as ‘Champions of the Programme’, supporting UNIC’s mission to achieve a more diverse and inclusive cinema industry. 
 
UNIC’s Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme aims to help address the gender gap amongst decision-making positions in the industry, giving talented, up-and-coming female professionals the opportunity to receive mentoring from top women executives.
 
Welcoming today’s announcement, UNIC CEO Laura Houlgatte commented:
We are delighted and grateful that Imax, Vista Group and Barco are supporting this initiative, showing their commitment to the 'UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme’. They share our continued ambition to empower female professionals and achieve a diverse and inclusive industry, something that we need more than ever.
 
It’s crucial to continue the work being done to foster greater diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, and as leaders, it's our duty to contribute. We’re proud to support UNIC's Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme again this year, which provides a unique opportunity for mentoring, learning, and networking for women in cinema across Europe," said Natasha Fernandes, Chief Financial Officer at IMAX.
 
As a repeat sponsor for UNIC, we firmly believe in the pivotal role their Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme plays in fostering gender-balanced leadership,” said Anna Ferguson, Chief People Officer at Vista Group. “A number of our own employees have benefited from the programme, and we are proud to support UNIC in championing diversity and elevating voices for an inclusive and successful cinema future.
 
Barco has participated in the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme since its inception. Our talented female colleagues have participated both as mentors and mentees, and the exchange amongst industry leaders has been nothing short of amazing. It is now 2024, and non-withstanding the progress towards true equality we must acknowledge as an industry that we have more work to do. And we must try harder. Elevating our commitment, Barco proudly steps up and has decided to become a champion partner. We are thrilled to have Miek Vanden Broeck, who spearheads Barco’s global cinema business health and supply chain, contribute as a mentor this year, marking another stride towards enriching our industry with diverse leadership and inclusive excellence,” said Gerwin Damberg, EVP at Barco Cinema.
 
The 2024-25 programme runs for a year from June, following its launch at CineEurope. Applications are now closed. If you would like to find out more about being a mentor or a mentee for the next edition, please contact lgaltier@unic-cinemas.org in January 2025.
 
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 equity in the industry.
 
More information 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 39 countries in Europe and neighbouring regions. More information at www.unic-cinemas.org
 
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture, and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX systems to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, making IMAX's network among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.  Streaming technology company SSIMWAVE, an IMAX subsidiary, is a leader in AI-driven video quality solutions for media and entertainment companies. 
  
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo, and Shanghai. As of December 31, 2022, there were 1,716 IMAX systems (1,633 commercial multiplexes, 12 commercial destinations, 71 institutional) operating in 87 countries and territories. Shares of IMAX China Holding, Inc., a subsidiary of IMAX Corporation, trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code "1970."   
  
IMAX®, IMAX® Dome, IMAX® 3D, IMAX® 3D Dome, Experience It In IMAX®, The IMAX Experience®, An IMAX Experience®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, IMAX DMR®, DMR®, Filmed For IMAX™, IMAX LIVE™, IMAX Enhanced™, IMAX nXos®, SSIMWAVE® and Films to the Fullest®, are trademarks and trade names of the Company or its subsidiaries that are registered or otherwise protected under laws of various jurisdictions. For more information, visit www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Instagram (www.instagram.com/imax), Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax), YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/imax). 
 
About Vista Group International
Vista Group International Ltd (Vista Group) is a public company, founded in New Zealand in 1996 and listed on both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges in 2014 (NZX & ASX: VGL). Vista Group is a global leader in providing tech solutions to the international film industry. With brands including Vista, Veezi, Movio, Numero, Maccs, Flicks and Powster, Vista Group’s expertise covers cinema management software; loyalty, moviegoer engagement and marketing; film distribution software; box office reporting; creative studio solutions; and the Flicks movie, cinema and streaming website and app.
 
Vistagroup.co.nz
 
About BARCO
Barco, headquartered in Kortrijk (Belgium), is a global company leading in visualization, networking, and collaboration technology. Its innovative solutions drive advancements in the healthcare, enterprise, and entertainment markets. At the heart of Barco’s success are over 3,000 dedicated ‘visioneers’, each passionately contributing to driving change through technology.

Listed on Euronext (BAR), Reuters (BARBt.BR), and Bloomberg (BAR BB), Barco realized sales of 1,050 million euro in 2023. For further insights, please visit http://www.barco.com or connect on X, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
 
Barco. Visioneering a bright tomorrow. © 2024
 
Further Enquiries
lgaltier@unic-cinemas.org | +32 4841 8391 | @UNIC_Cinemas

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