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Alan Arkin honored at San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

Actor Alan Arkin accepted the King Vidor Career Achievement Award for excellence in filmmaking at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival on Saturday.

Past recipients include actors Malcolm McDowell, Peter Fonda and Morgan Freeman.Best known for such films as “Catch 22,” “Edward Scissor-hands” and “Glengarry Glen Ross,” Arkin won an Academy Award for his turn as an irascible grandfather in “Little Miss Sunshine.”

More recently, he’s starred in “Get Smart,” “Marley and Me” and “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.”

“I’ve never been affected by the accolades of my work unless someone has told me that they learned something about life after watching a film I was in,” Arkin said.

Arkin is the father of actors Adam, Anthony and Matthew Arkin.

On Saturday, Adam Arkin paid tribute to his father alongside past King Vidor winner James Cromwell and other guests at the Fremont theater in San Luis Obispo.

“My father is a purely creative person, all the way to his core. He has many gifts, and they have to be expressed,” Adam Arkin said.

Saturday’s event began with the Independent Film Awards, hosted by Amy Jacobs and Bill Pesso from Coast 101.3 FM.

Foreign films dominated this year’s George Sidney Independent Film Competition.

“Bomber,” a bittersweet British comedy written and directed by Paul Cotter, won best narrative feature.

Tibetan musician Ngawang Choephel’s “Tibet in Song” won best documentary feature, and Indian filmmaker Sushrut Jain’s “Andheri” won best short film.

Meanwhile, Khen Shalem claimed best student film for “On the Road to Tel Aviv.”

The winners collected $500 to $2,000 apiece in prize money.

Audience awards went to the documentary “The Legend of Pancho Barnes and The Happy Bottom Riding Club” and the short film “Miracle in a Box.”

And “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” took the coveted “Best of Fest” prize.

Prizes were also awarded to Central Coast filmmakers Patrick Lawler, Zack Karper and Joe Patane.

The film festival wraps up today with afternoon screenings of all the winning films, held at Joe Momma’s Coffee in Avila Beach and Downtown Centre Cinemas and the Palm Theatre in San Luis Obispo.

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