CineEurope and UNIC to salute 'Pepe' Batlle


CineEurope and UNIC (the International Union of Cinemas) will honor José “Pepe” Batlle, former CEO of Cinesa in Spain and chief operating officer for Continental Europe at Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, with the UNIC Achievement Award on June 16 at the CineEurope convention 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.

UNIC president Phil Clapp stated, “Pepe has significantly shaped our industry over the past three decades, contributing to the development of incredible theatres all over Europe. He has also been an enthusiastic and committed supporter of UNIC and our ambition to bring CineEurope to his home town, Barcelona. Pepe’s celebration of cinema-going—and of life in general—and his ability to embrace the local as well as the international dimensions of our business have all helped make him such a great cinema exhibitor.”

CineEurope managing director Robert Sunshine noted, “Pepe has been a great supporter of this convention and was the person most responsible for helping us bring CineEurope to Barcelona. He has an uncanny ability to make things happen and did so at so many levels over the past two years in Spain. His commitment and love of the motion picture industry are evident in everything he does and he have earned the respect and esteem of all those who have interacted with him during his 27 years in the industry. We salute this great individual on being recognized by UNIC for his contributions to their organization.”

After completing an MBA in the U.S., Pepe Batlle started working in the consumer-electronics business and moved to the cinema exhibition industry 27 years ago to work for the Forman family. His career led him to work with multinational groups including Paramount and Universal as well as with Terra Firma, current owners of the Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group. In 1995, he was promoted to senior VP, Southern Europe and Brazil. In 2004, Batlle was named COO for Continental Europe at the Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group. During his time in the cinema sector, he helped establish more than 1,000 cinema screens across five European countries and Brazil. He has been involved in the acquisition of 10 companies and was responsible for more than 3,000 employees while transforming the Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group into the largest operator in Europe.

Past UNIC awardees include Lene Løken, managing director of Film & Kino Norway; Jean Labé, former president of the Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Francais (FNCF), and Ad Weststrate, former president of UNIC itself.