International movie star Jean Seberg, consistently makes the top list of the most beautiful women of all time.
The award-winning documentary Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg is an Official Selection at the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival and will be showcased at the Collins Road Theatres, 1462 Twixt Town Road, Marion, Iowa April 1 at 6:30pm and April 2 at 1:30pm. Tickets are available at www.crifm.org. Emmy® nominated filmmakers Garry McGee of McMarr, Ltd., and Kelly Rundle and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films will appear with the film.
Selected from 18,000 aspiring actresses at age 17, Marshalltown, Iowa’s Jean Seberg made her acting debut in Otto Preminger’s 1957 Saint Joan and starred in Hollywood films Lilith, Paint Your Wagon, and the blockbuster Airport, among others. She is best known for her performance in director Jean-Luc Godard’s groundbreaking French New Wave film Breathless. Movie Star is the first documentary film to focus on the private side of the famous actress and examines Seberg’s very public American and international film career, civil rights era activism, and her mysterious, untimely death in Paris in 1979.
The film features exclusive on-camera interviews with Seberg’s family, including her sister Mary Ann Seberg, and her former husband Francois Moreuil (Playtime); friends and film colleagues, including Mylene Demongeot (Bonjour Tristesse), film producer/director Nicolas Gessner (Diamonds are Brittle) and musician Jude Rawlins (Subterraneans) and musician/friend Mark Adams-Westin (Amy & Adams--music showcased in the film); and former Black Panther Party leader Elaine Brown; as well as never-before-seen private photographs, home movie footage and rare movie and behind-the-scenes film clips.
“I find her fascinating and remarkable,” said Dr. Horace Porter, a professor of English and American Studies at the University of Iowa, and author of The Making of a Black Scholar. Dr. Porter sat for an in-depth on-camera interview and shed light on J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO and Seberg’s involvement with the Black Panther Party and civil rights movement from 1968 to 1970.
“Jean Seberg was right there in the mix and right there as a sympathizer. She was someone who was very much dedicated to improving the quality of life of those who had been discriminated against.”
“She was a person, like all of us, who made good choices and bad choices,” said producer Garry McGee. “There were things that happened to her that she didn’t deserve. Jean was just trying to do what was right. You see a consistent thread throughout her life of reaching out to people who had fewer opportunities than she had.”
“The documentary strips away the Hollywood gossip, the national media hype, and the F.B.I. propaganda to find a young woman of conscience embroiled in the important issues of her day, while also carving out a unique and important international film career,” said producer Kelly Rundle.
Kelly and Tammy Rundle's documentary River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6 is also an official selection at the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival and will screen during the April 1-2 weekend.
Today Seberg is recognized as a fashion icon and her legacy in film is celebrated annually in her hometown of Marshalltown, Iowa at the Jean Seberg International Film Festival held at the Orpheum Theatre Center, where her film Saint Joan premiered in 1957. The Orpheum also houses the largest collection of Seberg memorabilia, photos and other archival materials in the world.
Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg was funded in part with grants from Humanities Iowa, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Iowa Arts Council. The Historical Society of Marshall County served as the fiscal sponsor for the documentary project. The film won the Iowa Motion Picture Association’s top Award of Excellence in a Documentary, and Best Documentary at the Landlocked Film Festival.
Garry McGee is the author of “Jean Seberg: Breathless” and co-author of “Neutralized: The FBI vs Jean Seberg” and “The Films of Jean Seberg”. He received a Regional Emmy® nomination for writing the documentary The Last Wright. The Rundles received a Regional Emmy® nomination for their documentaries Letters Home to Hero Street (co-produced with WQPT) and Country School: One Room – One Nation.