The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival honored film legend and 1970s cinema icon Pam Grier as this year’s 24th Annual King Vidor Award honoree.
Grier, the first African American woman actor to receive this award, was the iconic feminine face of urban cinema in the 1970s. Her presence has long served as an inspiration for many actors and filmmakers that followed. Grier solidified her status as a film star throughout the 1970s with a string of films including SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM (1973), SHEBA, BABY (1975), BUCKTOWN (1975) with Fred Williamson, FRIDAY FOSTER (1975), and GREASED LIGHTNING (1977) opposite Richard Pryor. The 1980s were highlighted by FORT APACHE, THE BRONX (1981) with Paul Newman, the Ray Bradbury classic, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (1983), and the Steven Seagal action film ABOVE THE LAW (1988), as well as regular turns on the television via Michael Mann’s “Crime Story” and “Miami Vice.”
Presented by BHE Renewables, the King Vidor Award presentation took place on Saturday, March 17 at the Fremont Theater in downtown San Luis Obispo. Following the presentation, Turner Classic Movie’s Ben Mankiewicz hosted a discussion of Grier’s entertaining and inspiring career. Past honorees have included Josh Brolin, Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman, Robert Wise, Eva Marie-Saint, Norman Jewison, James Cromwell, Malcolm McDowell, Ann-Margret, and Jeff Bridges.