The Jean Seberg International Film Festival kicks off this week in Marshalltown
It’s finally here. The Second Annual Jean Seberg International Film Festival starts this Thursday. The Festival will see visitor’s from all over the world—Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Tennessee, and even Great Britain, to name a few. Guests will witness never before seen footage and experience first-hand accounts from guests who have crossed paths with Jean Seberg in their lifetime. Join the Orpheum this week as it celebrates the life of the Marshalltown girl who turned into a Hollywood star and international icon in both film and fashion.
Current Mayor Tommy Thompson will join former Mayor Leonard Grimes (1956) in doing the honors of presenting the Key to the City to Jean’s older sister, Mary Ann Seberg Shuey, as part of the opening ceremonies at 7 pm. Says Mary Ann, “I’m pleased to be able to express appreciation to the city, the Orpheum staff and the college for helping to perpetuate Jean's memory with a permanent reminder of her life in Marshalltown.”
Opening ceremonies will be followed by the screening of Saint Joan at 7:30 pm and then a Seberg Exhibit After Party with complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres. All weekend films in the movie house will be introduced by Jude Rawlins, special guest from London.
Friday movie showings include Bonjour Tristesse, Breathless, Lilith, A Fine Madness, and The Mouse That Roared. The Seberg Exhibit will be open all day from 10 am – 10 pm. The Seberg Legacy Road Tour will be running from 11 am – 12:30 pm. Not to be missed is the award ceremony at which Iowa author and screenwriter, Garry McGee will be presented with the IVCCD Orpheum Theater Outstanding Service Award for his advocacy and authorship of major works about Jean Seberg. McGee is an Emmy® nominated writer and filmmaker and author of Jean Seberg: Breathless and Neutralized: the FBI vs. Jean Seberg.
This year’s film festival will feature one of Britain’s most experienced and critically acclaimed journalists, with his career spanning decades. Cedric Pulford will present the first Symposium: Jean Seberg: International Icon, on Saturday, at 11 am in the Orpheum Theater Center Movie House. His journey with Jean began when they first met in 1959 in Paris. As the student Editor at Oxford University, Pulford invited Jean to write for his magazine, Oxford Opinion. The resulting article, published in 1959, foreshadowed the writer she might have become. Her article will be on display in the Black Box Seberg Exhibit and copies are available for patrons at no charge. Pulford will also be presenting tributes gained by his interviews in Paris with French acting royalty, Mylene Demongeot and Jeans best friend, Aki Lehman. These messages to Marshalltown will be heard for the first time by the Seberg family and festival guests.
The second Symposium: Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg, is set for 5 – 6 pm. The documentary feature film Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg, by Emmy® nominated writer/filmmaker Garry McGee and Emmy® nominated documentary filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle, will be the topic of discussion during a special symposium. The documentary will examine Seberg's beginnings in small-town Iowa, her career ups and downs, marriages, and her ongoing humanitarian and social justice efforts. The symposium will feature several documentary interview clips, a short teaser and a panel discussion/Q & A with McGee and the Rundles.
Saturday movie showings include Breathless, Airport, A Fine Madness, The Mouse That Roared, and the musical classic, Paint Your Wagon. The Seberg Legacy Road tour travels to 13 sites in Marshalltown and is accompanied by a travel guide to fill guests in on the local history and historic sites Jean Seberg frequented. The tour runs from 2 – 3:30 pm and the Seberg Exhibit is open again from 10 am – 10 pm. Seberg TV Interviews will be shown at 10 am in the Seberg Theater.
On Sunday, the Seberg TV Interviews will be shown again at 10 am and 11:30 am in the Seberg Theater. The Festival will end with closing ceremonies Sunday afternoon at 2 pm with a showing of Moment to Moment in the Orpheum Movie House. The exhibit will close at 4 pm.
London author, artist, and poet Jude Rawlins is among the long list of international guests for the Festival this week. Rawlins is the Chairman of the William Blake Society in London. He also started a website called, “Saint Jean” in 1999 and has received information from Seberg fans worldwide, keeping her legend alive well beyond her death in 1979. Jude is joining us in Marshalltown after finishing a European tour with his band.
Another notable guest is Los Angeles filmmaker, Elgin James. James is attempting to bring Jean Seberg back to the big screen and is currently in negotiations with Iowa author Garry McGee for the option of making a feature film based on McGee’s book, “Jean Seberg: Breathless,” about the life of Jean Seberg. James will be in Marshalltown to attend all four days of the Festival as will Manoah Bowman, who is known to have the largest collection of Seberg memorabilia in the United States.
A highlight of the festival is the Seberg Exhibit in which a Chicago style gallery is made within the Orpheum black box theater featuring the photographs of Jean Seberg from the 1960’s. Much of the colored images have never been seen in large format exhibit before. Also in the exhibit, guests have an opportunity to look through 11 large portfolios that contain private collections of photographs and memorabilia including letters and cards from Jean. These collections have come from all over Marshalltown and from MHS alums who have kept scrapbooks from the 1950’s. Admission to the exhibit is $15 for the entire weekend.
Individual tickets can still be purchased for any film, exhibit, or road tour by calling 641-844-5919. Additional information can be found on the Orpheum Theater Center website at www.ivotc.com.
The Jean Seberg International Film Festival is made possible by grants and funding provided by the Community Foundation of Marshall County, Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center, Marshalltown Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mediacom and Iowa Valley Community College District.
The Orpheum Theater Center is owned and operated by the Iowa Valley Community College District.