CineEurope and UNIC are pleased to announce that José 'Pepe' Batlle, former CEO of CINESA in Spain and COO for Continental Europe, ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group will be the recipient of the UNIC Achievement Award at this year's convention.
This honour will be bestowed during the Opening Ceremony on Monday, 16 June at Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB), 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.
Commenting on the Award, UNIC President Phil Clapp said:
"We are extremely proud to be able to present this year's UNIC Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to European cinema exhibition to Pepe Batlle. 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."
"We are so pleased that Jose 'Pepe' Batlle is receiving the UNIC Achievement Award at CineEurope this year. Pepe has been a great supporter of this convention and was the person most responsible for helping us bring CineEurope to Barcelona. Pepe 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 is evident in everything he does and he has 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 recognised by UNIC for his contributions to their organisation." stated Robert Sunshine, Managing Director of CineEurope.
Past 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.
After completing an MBA in the US, Pepe Batlle started working in the consumer electronic 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, Pepe was promoted Senior Vice President Southern Europe and Brazil. In 2004, he was appointed COO for Continental Europe at the ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group. During his time in the cinema sector, Pepe Batlle helped establish more than 1000 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 whilst transforming the ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group into the largest operator in Europe.