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Europa Cinema, the pan-European association of art house cinemas, announced major changes to its management Tuesday, with founder Claude-Eric Poiroux stepping down from his role as general director after 30 years. He will be succeeded by current COO Fatima Djoumer, who has been named the new CEO.
Poiroux has been given the title of honorary president of Europa Cinema in honor of his work in creating and developing the exhibition network, which now counts more than 3,000 screens in 744 cities across the continent.
“With the creation of this network and its development thanks to the ongoing financial support of Creative Europe Media since the early beginnings we have strengthened exhibitors in their programming choices toward European films and in their dynamic and innovative strategies to build and renew audiences,” Poiroux said. “This network is more than ever essential for the growth and visibility of European film.”
“The whole network will always owe a debt of gratitude to Claude-Eric whose vision has allowed us to build such an extensive and diverse network,” Europa Cinemas said in a statement. “Europa Cinemas’ core belief is that cinemas are essential to the future of film. Our network is constantly finding innovative ways to enhance its role in the film ecosystem and to building audiences. Europa Cinemas has a highly active membership that is committed to diversity, inclusion and innovation and we will continue to focus on turning their passion into practical action.”
Alongside Djoumer, Europa Cinemas elected a new steering committee for the association, re-electing Nico Simon from Luxembourg as president for another year, naming Metka Dariš (Slovenia) and Mathias Holtz (Sweden) as vice presidents, Benoît Thimister (Belgium) as treasurer and Maria-Magdalena Gierat (Poland) as secretary.
The Europa Cinemas network, an association of independent, art house theaters, operates in 744 cities in 38 countries across Europe. Last year, across the network, the theaters sold more than 83 million tickets.
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