CineEurope to honor Turkey's Mars Entertainment Group


CineEurope will present its 2013 “International Exhibitor of the Year Award” to Mars Entertainment Group and founder and CEO Muzaffer Yildirim at an awards luncheon on June 27 at Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain.

“It is a great pleasure for CineEurope to be able to acknowledge and pay tribute to Mars Entertainment Groups’ Muzaffer Yildirim for his contributions to cinema exhibition in Turkey,” stated Robert Sunshine, managing director of the annual convention. “Mars’ success is the ultimate example of how innovative thinking and foresight can lead to great success in the cinema exhibition industry.”

Since its founding in 2001 by Yildirim and Menderes Utku, Mars Entertainment Group has been spearheading the growth of the cinema industry in Turkey by introducing moviegoers to state-of-the-art multiplexes in shopping malls. Marrying creative entrepreneurs with the power of private financing, Mars became the leading exhibitor in Turkey in a short period of time.

Over the years, Mars has successfully evolved from being solely an exhibitor to being the only vertically integrated company in all relevant parts of the industry value chain including film acquisition, production and distribution, digital lab services, e-ticketing, and cinema advertising. In order to further support the industry, Mars has been actively investing in content development, as well as sponsoring film festivals. Mars is the patron of !f, the International Independent Film Festival, Turkey’s biggest and the region's premier high-profile festival dedicated to cutting-edge international cinema. In partnership with the Sundance Institute, !f also holds the !f-Sundance Screenwriters Lab.

Mars’ cinema chain, currently operating under the Cinemaximum brand, is by far Turkey’s largest cinema network, commanding over 500 screens in 24 cities, making up 60% of the digital screens and all of the IMAX screens in the country. Cinemaximum has 52% of the Turkish box office and 85% of the screen-advertising market. Taking into account the already secured locations within prestigious shopping malls to be opened by 2018, Cinemaximum expects to reach 1,000 screens and 74% of the total box office.

Muzaffer Yildirim is a graduate of Marmara University School of Physical Education and Sports. He started his career in the leading Turkish retailer Vakko and later joined Philip Morris. He was the general manager of Alarko Tourism Group for 10 years.

Mars Entertainment Group consists of three business units, operating in cinema, fitness and wellness (Mars Athletic Club & Nuspa), and food and entertainment (NuPeople), with over 2,250 employees. Yildirim’s motto for success is: “Visualise, believe and make it happen.” His new goal is reaching $1 billion in revenue.

CineEurope will take place June 24-27 and will feature screenings of upcoming Hollywood films, sponsored events, timely seminars and a tradeshow. It is the official convention of the Union Internationale des Cinémas/International Union of Cinemas (UNIC).