MaltinFest: Film critic, historian Leonard Maltin, family establish new Hollywood film festival

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Leonard Maltin is one of the most respected film critics in America. After decades of attending film festivals, Leonard has now started one with his movie-loving daughter, Jessie. They call it MaltinFest, and it's done with other movie-loving fans in mind.

"There's nothing quite like sitting in the dark with a simpatico audience watching a movie on a big screen together," said Leonard. "And that's what makes a festival!"

The movies at MaltinFest are all taking place at one place: The historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The movies you see may not be new, but the concept is: highlighting films that flew under the radar the first time around.

"These films deserve to get a second chance on the big screen and that's what we're giving them," said Leonard. "And in many cases, we have the filmmakers coming. Alexander Payne is coming with his first movie, 'Citizen Ruth.' And his star, Laura Dern, is joining him."

Among the other cinematic gems: "Big Eyes," "Songcatcher," and the 1986 film, "Absolute Beginners," which features the late David Bowie.

"We had time to do it and so we've put it together and I'm so excited and I'm so proud and, really, we just can't wait to hang out with everybody," said Jessie. "That's what we want more than anything else is we want like-minded people and everyone having a good time and feeling very welcome--part of the family."

For documentary lovers, there's "The Death of 'Superman Lives'--What Happened."

MaltinFest will close with a film many consider to be horrible: 1952's "Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla." The Maltins got a print of the film that once belonged to Lugosi himself.

MaltinFest runs May 10-12 in Hollywood.
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