Muzaffer Zildirim's Mars Entertainment Group is Turkey's leading film company.
COLOGNE, Germany - Muzaffer Zildirim, the founder and CEO of leading Turkish cinema firm Mars Entertainment Group, has been named international exhibitor of the year for the 2013 CineEurope theater owners conference.
Zildirim will be honored at the CineEurope award luncheon June 27 in Barcelona.
Since Yildirim set up Mars Entertainment Group in 2001 with Menderes Utku, the company has been at the forefront of cinema business in Turkey. It operates Turkey's leading cinema chain, Cinemaximum, with more than 500 screens in 24 cities throughout the country. Every Imax screen in Turkey is in a Cinemaximum multiplex, and the chain accounts for 60 percent of all digital screens in the territory.
By 2018, Cinemaximum hopes to further strengthen its dominant position, forecasting expansion to 1,000 screens and a market share of 74 percent of Turkey's overall box office. ?In addition to its exhibition business, the vertically integrated Mars group also is active in film acquisition, production, distribution, advertising, digital lab services and even e-ticketing. It also is the major sponsor of Turkey's independent film festival, !F Istanbul.
"It is a great pleasure for CineEurope to be able to acknowledge and pay tribute to Mars Entertainment Groups? Muzaffer Yildirim for his contributions to cinema exhibition in Turkey,? said CineEurope managing director Robert Sunshine. ?Mars' success is the ultimate example of how innovative thinking and foresight can lead to great success in the cinema exhibition industry."
CineEurope 2013, the premier exhibition trade show for the U.S. major studios in Europe, runs June 24 to 27. CineEurope is produced by Prometheus Global Media, which owns The Hollywood Reporter.