Cream of fests to screen in Malibu fete


A live orchestra, screenings under the stars and an opening night gala will highlight the 2nd annual Malibu Celebration of Film, which begins Sept. 28.

The unusual event cherry-picks prize-winning films from 2007 festivals around the world. This year's slate promises 13 films from seven countries, which collectively have won 35 awards from such events as AFI, Sundance, Toronto, Zlin International Film Festival and Netherlands Film Festival.

"We're honored to have the opportunity to showcase such mindful and authentic storytelling," said the festival's executive director, Kim Jackson.

Kicking off the three-day event is "Man in the Chair," starring Christopher Plummer and Robert Wagner. It's about a rebellious 17-year-old who enters a competition for a scholarship to a Hollywood film school, and it has won several top festival awards, including best feature film at the 2007 Kent Film Festival and a similar honor at the 2007 Stony Brook Film Festival.

The festival will screen retrospective films including Orson Welles' last major film, "F for Fake," and the silent classic "Heart O' the Hills" starring Mary Pickford and featuring a live underscore by the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra.

Two panel discussions will be offered at Pepperdine University. "From Page to Screen" on Sept. 29 features a talk with Peter Dunne, Catherine A. Jones, John Logan and Trevor Albert. "The Art of Film Criticism" with critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan takes place Sept. 30.

An outdoor advance screening of the Rob Stewart-directed documentary "Sharkwater" will close the event.