Nico Simon, president of Europa Cinemas and co-founder of Utopolis Cinemas Group, has today been announced as the 2016 recipient of the UNIC Achievement Award. The award will be presented at the CineEurope Opening Ceremony June 20, at the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain.
Simon played a key role in founding and developing the Utopolis Cinemas Group and for more than 22 years served as the CEO of the company. In 2015, he successfully managed the takeover of Utopolis Group by Belgian-based Kinepolis Cinemas Group.
Under his stewardship, Utopolis Group, originating from the five-screen artplex Ciné Utopia, developed into an internationally recognized mainstream and arthouse cinema brand operating 93 screens in 12 cities and across four countries (Luxembourg - the company’s home base, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France).
The Utopolis multiplex in Luxembourg was the first cinema in Europe to become 100 per cent digital, illustrating Simon's commitment to innovation and change. His passion for the big screen and dedication to constantly improve the cinema going experience assured the growth and the success of the Group.
Simon has remained throughout a passionate promoter of European film, never shying away from debates about the need for high quality local and European films to be shown in cinemas across Europe. He is one of the founding members and currently President of Europa Cinemas, the first film theatre network focusing on the circulation of European films.
Welcoming the announcement of the award, Phil Clapp, president of UNIC said, "Nico Simon has for decades been a respected and important member of the International Union of Cinemas, representing both his company Utopolis Group as well as for some time the Belgian Cinema Association around the UNIC table. His understanding of the dynamics of promoting European and local films in cinemas is unmatched, and we have greatly benefitted from his nuanced views concerning policy trends within the European Union. This award in some small way marks our enormous gratitude to Nico. We look forward to continuing to work with him in his capacity as president of Europa Cinemas."