Seberg still a shining star in Marshalltown

In her day, Jean Seberg knew how to sell out a show.

Who knew she could still do it 34 years after her death?

The third annual Jean Seberg International Film Festival opened with a sellout crowd Friday night at the Orpheum Theater. Guests reveled in the opening party and took in the new documentary film “Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg.”

The festival honors Seberg, who grew up in Marshalltown and went on to become an international film star. Her impact is still felt throughout the world – especially in Europe.

“She was so unique and true to herself,” said Garry McGee, author of the Seberg biography “Breathless” and contributor to the “Movie Star” film along with Kelly and Tammy Rundle. “There are very few personalities that can continue decades after their death.”

Jean’s sister, Mary Ann Seberg Shuey, and brother, Kurt Seberg, were again in attendance as the festival opened.

“It’s so heartwarming to see this many people who love Jean,” Shuey said. “She’s being rediscovered all over again.”

Marshalltown High School 2013 graduate Grace Franck was honored with the Jean Seberg Drama Award. The award is given to a student who is active in the MHS drama program.

“It’s almost overwhelming,” Franck said. “It’s a very, very big honor.”

Franck, a current music education student at the University of Northern Iowa, sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” after receiving her award.

The Rundles were given the Outstanding Service Award by the Orpheum for their help in preserving Seberg’s legacy.

“We are very honored to receive this award,” said Tammy Rundle.

The festival continues at the theater with a full day of events Saturday beginning with the screening of “Saint Joan” at 10 a.m. as well as a roundtable discussion at the same time.

The festival will wrap up on Sunday with a 3 p.m. screening of “Movie Star.”