Indie Biz Champ Among CineEurope Honorees

Patrick Wachsberger is one of three movie biz big-hitters to be feted in Barcelona

Patrick Wachsberger Lionsgate
Courtesy of Lionsgate

At CineEurope, the European movie-theater operators’ conference that runs June 11-14 in Barcelona, three executives will be honored, including Patrick Wachsberger, outgoing co-chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

Wachsberger has been named as the recipient of the International Distributor of the Year award.

Before joining Lionsgate, Wachsberger served as the co-chairman and president of Summit Entertainment, the company he helped launch in 1993. He helped transform Summit into one of the world’s leading independent movie studios, launching the blockbuster “Twilight” franchise, and “The Hurt Locker,” Oscar-winner for best picture and director in 2010.

He joined Lionsgate Motion Picture Group in 2012, when the company acquired Summit. As co-chairs, he and Joe Drake oversaw all aspects of Lionsgate’s movie acquisition, production and distribution, and he led its movie business overseas. The company’s movie slate has generated nearly $10 billion at the global box office over the past five years; its films have included “La La Land,” winner of six Oscars, double Oscar- winner “Hacksaw Ridge,” and “The Hunger Games,” “John Wick” and “Now You See Me” franchises.

Olga Zinyakova, president of Russia’s KARO movie theater chain, has been named as the recipient of the International Exhibitor of the Year award.

Zinyakova was made president of KARO last year; before that she served as head of advertising and marketing at the company. From 2008 to 2013, she was CEO at PromoFilm, which specialized in movie advertising and promotion.

“Russia has quickly become one of the key territories for growth in European cinema, and much of that is due to the energy, innovation and investment that KARO has brought to the sector,” says Laura Houlgatte, CEO of European exhibitors’ body UNIC.

Jean-Pierre Decrette, until recently director of development at Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé, has been named as the recipient of the UNIC Achievement Award, given in recognition of outstanding dedication and service to European cinema exhibition.

Decrette is deputy president of French exhibitors’ group FNCF and senior vice-president of UNIC. He also served on the board of the Cannes Film Festival between 2014-2018, and was president of the French cinema industry professionals’ association BLIC in 2013 and 2016.