DIFF 2012 Dedication and Honoree

The 2012 Dallas International Film Festival is Dedicated to Lee Roy and Tandy Mitchell

Lee Roy and Tandy Mitchell

Starting with his first theater in Ennis, Texas, more than 40 years ago, Lee Roy Mitchell built the largest independent theater operation in Texas partially by pioneering discount days and family promotions. The chain was the bedrock for his founding of Cinemark USA, Inc. in 1987, which has since grown to become the third largest theater operator in America and a major film exhibitor in 14 Latin American countries as well as Taiwan. Now a public company with net worth in the billions, Cinemark Holdings hosted 241 million moviegoers in its theaters in 2010 – tops in the world.

As CEO and Chairman of the Board at Cinemark, Mitchell attributes his company’s success to a mix of innovative vision and traditional values. With his wife and business partner, Tandy, he’s prioritized people over profit—making personal comfort a theater hallmark, investing in communities Cinemark operates in, and supporting a long list of charities that empower people to better help themselves.

“Eventually, you have to go out on a limb, because that’s where the fruit is.” – Lee Roy Mitchell

Lee Roy and Tandy Mitchell will be honored on April 12 at the Opening Night Celebration.

2012 Festival Honoree: Eric Pleskow

Eric PleskowBorn in Vienna, Austria, Eric Pleskow emigrated to the United States in 1939, joined United Artists in 1951 and headed its international distribution arm before becoming the major film studio’s president and CEO in 1974—a span that saw its films win 10 Academy Awards for Best Picture and its global market share rise among Hollywood’s big film companies from last to nearly first.

United Artists finally attained the top spot in 1977, and a year later Pleskow left to start and lead Orion Pictures, which made four films that earned Best Picture Oscars in 13 years: AMADEUS (1984), PLATOON (1987), DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990), and THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991).

For his film work in post-war Europe as well as his commercial studio career, Pleskow has earned international recog- nition from Austria, Italy, France, and other countries, culminating in his receiving the key to the City of Vienna in2007.

Eric Pleskow will be honored on April 20 at DFS Honors.


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DIFF is proud to honor Laura Linney, Bernie Pollack and Gabourey Sidibe with the Dallas Star Award at the DFS Honors on April 20.  >> See all Awards


The 2012 Dallas International Film Festival is Dedicated to Lee Roy and Tandy Mitchell
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