If you ask my mom about Robert Redford, she'll cite his dreamy blue eyes and his charismatic performances in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting. If you ask someone my age about him, though, I bet the Sundance Film Festival is the first thing that will come to mind. For a lot of us, the Sundance Institute has been so influential and important that it overshadows the earlier days, when Redford was "only" a movie star.

Variety reports that the industry convention ShoWest will honor Redford with the Visionary Award when it convenes next week in Las Vegas, a tribute to the Sundance Kid's extraordinary contributions to the world of independent film. Sundance is the largest, most influential film festival in the United States, and it has launched the careers of dozens of filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh. What's more, the Sundance Institute's workshops for screenwriting, documentary filmmaking, and other crafts have helped countless individuals hone their skills.

This will be the first time ShoWest has given out a "Visionary Award," and Redford seems like a mighty fine choice to me. Those dreamy blue eyes have seen a lot of great things happen in the movie world.