San Luis Obispo International Film Festival’s King Vidor Award is presented annually to someone who has made significant contributions to the film industry in one capacity or another. This year’s honoree, Alan Arkin, will be presented with his award on March 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fremont Theatre.
Past honorees are Malcolm McDowell (2009), Peter Fonda (2008), Norman Jewison and James Cromwell (2007), Morgan Freeman (2006), Eva Marie Saint (2004), Elmer Bernstein (2002), Howard Keel (2001), Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz (2000), Jim Dee (1999), Stanley Kramer (1998), Ernest Borgnine (1997), Robert Wise (1996), Edward Dmytryk (1995), Delbert Mann (1994), and George Sidney (1993).
The award was named for film director King Wallis Vidor (February 8, 1894-November 1, 1982). Though he was born in Texas, he lived in Paso Robles at the time of his death. After working as a newsreel cameraman and projectionist, his debut as a director came in 1913 with Hurricane in Galveston. During his career he made more than 60 films, the last being a short documentary called The Metaphor, released in 1980. He was one of MGM’s top studio directors during the late ‘20s and early ‘30s and made his first sound film, Hallelujah!, in 1929. Vidor also served as President of the Screen Directors Guild from 1936 to 1938. In 1979 he received an honorary Academy Award, which he had never won before despite being nominated for Best Director five times. He entered the Guinness World Records for having the longest career as a film director.