After a screening of director James Tooley's documentary, "Starring Adam West," the world's foremost Batman accepted the festival's Spotlight Award. This honor, bestowed to one of Hollywood's most humble, genuine and funny actors, brought Bat Fans and people from all ages to take part in this historic night in downtown San Luis Obispo.
For over 40 years, Mr. West has left his mark both as a family man as well as an actor, and the evening's captivating film, directed by his son-in-law, delved into Mr. West's early life all the way up to the present. The enthusiastic audience learned of his modest beginnings growing up on a farm in Walla Walla, Washington, his journey starting out as a young actor, his ties to San Luis Obispo, his infamous role as Batman, his setbacks in Hollywood, his many accomplishments in TV and film leading up to the present day, and his real-life role as a husband and father. After the movie, audience members eagerly lined up to ask questions, thank him...and one lucky man even checked off a bucket list item.
"Rhett...get in the batmobile," Mr. West playfully demanded into the microphone. The audience laughed and Rhett walked back to his seat with a smile and a glow.
It was easy to see how Mr. West's starring role from the 60s still leaves a lasting impression. A woman thanked him for making her difficult childhood better by being able to watch his show. Another woman thanked him for his influence and talked proudly of pursuing live theater. She even professed a Batman tattoo on her chest. A confident-sounding young boy admitted he was nervous to stand in line to ask Mr. West if he was ever nervous when he filmed his shows. Mr. West responded, "Always!" and commended his young fan.
The repertoire between Mr. West and his adoring audience was nothing short of ZAMM! He is one of the most genuine celebrities I've ever encountered at the SLOIFF and those in attendance last night surely felt his warmth and sincerity as he connected with everyone. He emphasized how much happiness he's found over the years bringing happiness to others and at one point looked straight at the audience and said, 'You know what? I'm no Dark Knight. I'm the White Knight." That says it all.
|The evening started with a BANG! at the VIP reception at Luis Wine Bar in downtown SLO.|
|San Luis Obispo celebrity magician, Rich Ferguson, pulled some SWISH! and SWOOSH! for guests. Pictured from left to right: Los Angeles radio personality, Ralph Garman, Adam West, and magician Rich Ferguson.|
|The majestic Fremont Theatre was the perfect locale for this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime event.|
|Pictured from left to right: KROQ's Ralph Garman, who presented the Spotlight Award and moderated the Q & A; Adam West; and the film's director, James Tooley.|