UNIC's Phil Clapp hails investment, innovation and diversity in CineEurope address

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In a keynote address at CineEurope 2018, Phil Clapp, president of European trade group International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), credited the sector’s success to investment, innovation and diversity.

Clapp also pointed to the importance of support for European content and its position in the global box-office landscape, while extending his gratitude to the numerous partners and organizations that help make the convention of movie exhibitors a success each year.

Reporting on cinema-going across UNIC territories in 2017, Clapp mentioned the “renewed confidence” the year had brought in terms of increasing admissions, which “confirms that the cinema-going public recognize the massive levels of investment that European operators are making in all aspects of the big-screen experience.”

Clapp noted the crucial role of Europe’s diversity with regard to film content, noting that domestic titles are now better able to find audiences across the region due to digital advances across the sector and declaring that their importance could not be overstated in terms of catering to audiences from all backgrounds. Special mention was also given to efforts by partners in production and distribution in enabling audience-friendly domestic films to “find their way to their natural home on the big screen.”

Pointing to the continued need for diversity also in the cinema workforce, he noted the success of the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme, which looks to tackle underrepresentation of women in senior roles across the industry. The second edition of the Programme will be announced later in the week at CineEurope.

Touching upon another important development over the last year, Clapp updated attendees on the status of the Global Cinema Federation. Established by UNIC, the U/S. trade body the National Association of Theatre Owners and eleven of the world’s leading cinema operators, the Federation’s recently published policy statements would, he hoped, provide not only a “clear sign of the progress made by the Federation over the last year” but also “a rallying point for operators across the world.”

In closing, Clapp declared that despite the challenges the European cinema sector faces, operators can remain confident: “Knowing that whatever the distractions posed by the unsustainable business practices of so-called ‘disruptors,’ our focus will remain on sustaining the diversity, innovation and investment that is the hallmark of our industry and the key to its ongoing success.”