UNIC to honor Ad Weststrate at CineEurope 2013


Ad Weststrate, independent cinema owner, entrepreneur, and president of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) will receive the UNIC Achievement Award at this year’s CineEurope convention. Weststrate will be honored during the Opening Ceremony on June 24 at Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain.

The UNIC Achievement Award is given each year to an outstanding person for his or her dedication and service to European cinema exhibition. Past recipients include Lene Løken, head of Film&Kino Norway; Jean Labé, president, Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français, and John Fithian, rresident, National Association of Theatre Owners.

“We are delighted to give this year's UNIC Achievement Award to our president, Ad J. Weststrate, who has played such an important role in strengthening the voice of international cinema exhibition in the past decade,” stated Jan Runge, CEO of UNIC. “Ad helped steer UNIC through a phase of considerable change and helped ensure its increasing influence. He managed to do so by bringing together a rare combination of skills—leadership, business sense, diplomatic tact and a great deal of empathy for those around him. We want to express our gratitude to Ad and look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.”

“We are equally delighted that UNIC has decided to award this prestigious honor each year at CineEurope and we extend our congratulations to Ad Weststrate on this auspicious occasion,” stated Robert Sunshine, managing director of CineEurope.

Weststrate is an independent cinema owner and entrepreneur with more than 40 years’ experience in the Dutch and the international cinema industry. He was among the first exhibitors in the Netherlands to build a multiplex cinema (in Vlissingen, NL) and today runs two additional theatres. Aside from being an exhibitor, Weststrate also engages in film distribution (A-Films), production and finance. Together with his son, he runs a local television station in Vlissingen and is the founder of Dutch film festival Film by the Sea as well as the co-founder of the trade magazine Holland Film Nieuws.

In 2012, Weststrate received the Silver Rose, the most prestigious award of the Dutch film industry, for services and dedication to cinema. Most recently, he put together a consortium to open a cinema in the Kingdom of Buthan, Southeast Asia.

As president of UNIC, Weststrate was instrumental in moving the organization to Brussels and in strengthening the voice of European cinema exhibition. Weststrate has also been a member of the board of the Dutch exhibitors’ association NVB for 20 years and served as its chairman for six of those. He also spent ten years on the board of the Dutch cinema charity Bio, which helps children with special needs. Weststrate personally supports charities in Senegal, Sierra Leone and Gambia.