That is a pretty awesome accolade given that ShoWest is majorly important in the film industry. I can't say it much better than the Broadway World article so:
"ShoWest is the largest annual convention for the motion picture industry. It is the only international gathering devoted exclusively to the movie business and the single largest international gathering of motion picture professionals and theatre owners in the world."
Pretty sweet that the people in charge of theater distribution think he's the next big thing too.
From the pr:
Efron will be presented with the ShoWest Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award at ShoWest’s Final Night Banquet and Award Ceremony on Thursday, April 2nd, at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas.
"When Zac Efron made his debut, with the cast of 'Hairspray' at ShoWest 2007, many in attendance took notice of this young actor’s incredible talent," said Neuhauser. "His undeniable onscreen presence and charm have connected with fans around the world, and with the impending release of the comedy "17 Again", Zac Efron is poised to break out as a true Hollywood star. We are so pleased to be able to present him with the ShoWest 2009 Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award."
ETA: LA Times Article
Zac Efron named breakthrough performer by theater owners
Zac Efron is being recognized by movie theater owners as the breakthrough performer of the year. This is a new award from ShoWest which bills itself as "the most prestigious and longest running convention and trade show for the cinema exhibition and distribution community." While Zac Efron first came toZac_efron_high_school_musical fame on TV's "High School Musical," he was featured in the big-screen third installment of this franchise last fall. And now Zac Efron is about to carry his first film with the time-traveling comedy "17 Again."
The trade fair has been handing out various kudos to stars since 1978 when it named Henry Winkler as male star of the year and Mark Hamill as the male star of tomorrow. While Winkler was a hot TV commodity as the Fonz on No. 1-rated "Happy Days," his film career failed to flourish. Neither "Heroes," a 1977 road movie with Sally Field, nor 1978's "The One and Only," a Carl Reiner comedy about wrestling, made much money. And Hamill never escaped the stigma of "Star Wars" much like 2005 honoree Hayden Christensen.
ShoWest has had mixed success at predicting which up-and-comers will have staying power. This year Chris Pine, who plays Captain Kirk in the new "Star Trek" reboot from J.J. Abrams, is being honored. Among the male stars of tomorrow who succeeded were: Johnny Depp (1990); Brad Pitt (1992); Will Smith (1995); and Matt Damon (1998). And those that did not live up to their potential include: David Keith (1983); Stephen Dorff (1992); Giovanni Ribisi (1999), and Brandon Routh (2006).
Two: Possible MAOW Screenings
Also, there is a chance Me and Orson Welles will be a part of the "Filmmakers Symposium," essentially a film festival in New Jersey running for about the next twelve weeks. The final films haven't been decided yet, but if you are interested check out their website. Although it promises surprise visits by cast and crew, I would guess with 17 Again promotion happening that Zac would not be among them.