THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL
FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE

TheWIFTS FOUNDATION
INTERNATIONAL
VISIONARY AWARDS
HONOREE LUNCHEON
DEC 6th 2014
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Lenora Blanco
Lifetime Achievement Award - Film
  

Lenora Blanco
Lawyer – Distributor – Exhibitor - Producer - Benefactor
 
Lenora Blanco is honoured with TheWIFTS Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the growth and success of companies in the independent film business worldwide and locally in Venezuela where the family business Cinematografica Blancica is based. Together with her husband Tony Blanco, this dynamic duo of a strong partnership built on love, mutual respect, generosity and humour resonated in all the decisions they made, and the independent film sector was the richer emotionally and financially by their association. Underpinning their love and generosity, in memory of their son Antonio Jr., the Blancos established the Antonio David Blanco Fund at UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, which has nutured over 50 young Hispanic filmmakers by providing scholarships and fellowships in filmmaking.

Born in Havana, Cuba. Lenora Blanco attended Law School at La Universidad de la Habana, where she met her husband Antonio (Tony) Blanco. Tony Blanco's family had been in the movie business, owning theatres in Cuba and exhibiting films since the days of silent movies.

It was through him that Lenora grew a passion for films and the film business. In 1956, Lenora and Tony married, and with the political climate in Cuba, headed for Miami. They eventually decided to settle in Venezuela, where they opened a distribution company, Blanco & Travieso, now Cinematografica Blancica.

In the early days of the independent business in Venezuela and globally, Tony and Lenora Blanco worked tirelessly in their quest to search for the best product to offer to the local market and Latin America region, by attending all the international festivals and markets Cannes, MIFED, Berlin, MIPCOM, Toronto, and AFM.

The Blancos also saw the need to foster home grown films and were active in supporting emerging filmmakers to produce films for their local market and internationally. As the need for content grew at the height of the independent business, they briefly invested in other territories such as Panama and Dominican Republic - but later concentrated their efforts in Venezuela.

With their sense of running a business with foresight, Lenora and Tony's company Cinematografica Blancica was the first to open a legal distribution outlet for home video in partnership with MGM, and co-owned one of the two largest cinema chains in Venezuela. Today, Lenora continues to lead and operate their distribution company Blancica. She is helped in the day to day running of company by their daughter Lenora and her husband Jaime Mayol.

In 2012, Lenora's soul mate, dearly beloved Tony Blanco, her husband of 56 years, passed away. Their partnership with respect to their family life and business was truly unique - the entire family of the Blanco–Mayol are an exceptional family in the industry. Lenora and Tony Blanco encompassed all the qualities that made the independent business when it was at its height in the '70s, '80s and '90s and a real and great pleasure to be a part of - Elegance, Class, Passion - Fairness - and Loyalty - aspects of business dealing and the spirit of humanity - largely missing in the business world of today.

To celebrate Lenora's recognition TheWIFTS Foundation garnered comments from members of the independent film community who know and knew Lenora and Tony Blanco in business and in friendship.




Acceptance
Speech

 
........................
 
Tributes to
Lenora Blanco
 
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