During a keynote address at CineEurope 2017, UNIC President Phil Clapp has today highlighted the importance of innovation and diversity for the continued success of the European cinema sector.
Welcoming one of the most diverse programmes for the event to date, Phil Clapp thanked in particular the European Commission for their support of this year’s edition of CineEurope, hoping it was the beginning of a broader engagement with the show.
Reflecting on the trends and developments that had shaped the industry in recent times, he also acknowledged the need for continuing collaboration across the sector, noting that:
“While some territories risk being seen as turning their faces away from outside influences, in an increasingly consolidated and connected World, we can surely all learn from each other’s experiences and viewpoints.”
Reporting on strong performances across the majority of UNIC territories in 2016, he praised the ongoing investment and creativity shown by cinema operators and their business partners, noting that:
“Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, some still seek to present the modern cinema sector as a ‘traditional’ or backward-looking industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed the need to innovate – to find new ways of engaging audiences – is our very lifeblood.”
Nevertheless, he insisted that the sector still faced challenges when it came to ensuring that it was equipped to respond to the changing needs and tastes of the public. He point out that for the sector to be as diverse and innovative as audiences demand, it had to address the lack of gender balance in its business structure. He announced that UNIC will later in the week launch a pilot mentoring scheme for rising young female professionals in the industry.
Finally, in closing he paid tribute to the leadership of outgoing UNIC CEO Jan Runge, who is moving on after six years. His efforts had, he said, helped put cinema back at the centre of European film policy.
UNIC – the International Union of Cinemas
UNIC Represents the interests of cinema trade associations and cinema operators covering 36 countries in Europe and in neighbouring regions.
Organised in partnership with the Film Expo Group, CineEurope – UNIC’s official annual convention – each year brings together cinema professionals from over 50 countries. The 2017 edition of the show takes place from June 19-22 in Barcelona and involves a growing number of film and product presentations from major international as well as European film studios, a cutting-edge trade show, as well as a seminar programme exploring latest industry trends in European cinema exhibition.