Kenny Blank serves as the executive director of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the city’s largest film festival and the world’s preeminent Jewish film festival, a celebration of international cinema attracting some 40,000 moviegoers annually. He was previously executive producer of morning news for NBC affiliate WXIA-TV, where he received an Emmy award for managing breaking news coverage, as well as a producer with Savannah NBC affiliate WSAV-TV, where he won an Associated Press award for special coverage.
A graduate of New York University, he received a bachelor of fine arts degree in film and television from the Tisch School of the Arts, as well as a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication. A recipient of the IMAGE Film Award and Atlanta Contemporary’s Nexus Award, Blank previously chaired the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, and currently holds board positions with The Woodruff Arts Center, Alliance Theatre and Woodward Academy.
He and his wife Nancy are actively involved in the philanthropic work of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. They are the parents of two children with whom they spend family time watching the evening news. Read on to envision Blank with shoulder-length “hippie hair.”
I’m obsessed with …
Everything Disney. I like how their organization works.
Best advice your father gave you.
“Put the customer first.” That rings true for Home Depot or entertainment.
My most exotic vacay was …
Taking the family on safari in Kenya. Being there we were very connected to nature — trees, earth and sky and changing our sense of civilization.
If they made a movie of your life, who would you choose to play the lead?
Paul Rudd, … but maybe Adam Sandler, not so sure about that now.
If I had one more talent, it would be …
I’m into gourmet cooking and with more time, I would develop that with elaborate recipes.
Most unusual job:
Working all night in a TV newsroom, and sleeping all day, which may be why now I am a night owl. I was also the communications specialist for mayors Maynard Jackson and Bill Campbell.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Bingeing in New York. The new places, the old places, only the top desserts. Everything is so specialized now; they even have rice pudding stores.
I was star struck meeting …
Steven Spielberg and John Williams.
My last fashion disaster …
College! I had shoulder-length hair and dressed a decade behind the styles.
The best thing about Atlanta is …
The diversity and cross section of people and cultures.