Tom Petty Documentary Premieres On YouTube
Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making Of Wildflowers, a new documentary, has premiered in full 4K resolution on Tom Petty’s YouTube Channel. The film offers a unique look into the creative mastery and turbulent personal life of the legendary rock star, capturing the period of 1993-1995 – when Tom worked with celebrated producer Rick Rubin for the first time – and giving an unvarnished look at Petty that features never-before-seen footage drawn from a newly discovered archive of 16mm film, in addition to new interviews with album co-producer and Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, and many more.
The uplifting 89-minute documentary was directed by award-winning filmmaker Mary Wharton (Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President, Sam Cooke: Legend, Elvis Lives!, The Beatles Revolution) and first debuted in March as an Official SXSW 2021 Selection, winning the festival’s Audience Award. The film went on to win Best Documentary Film at the Boulder Film Festival and received widespread critical acclaim throughout the film festival season. The picture digs deeper into 2020’s critically acclaimed certified gold reissue, Wildflowers & All The Rest (Warner Records) which revealed the long anticipated second half of Tom’s autobiographical masterpiece. The film illuminates an artist at the height of his powers, providing an intimate and emotional look at an enigmatic icon with archival footage of Petty and his band in the recording studio, behind-the-scenes on tour, and at home with his family, providing a view of Tom Petty as he has never been seen before.
Wharton spoke about the film at SXSW: “It’s obviously very hard to watch this film for me. It’s been really a painful process to go through the footage — even harder than the music. I see a lot of different emotions sort of run through his face… I actually do think he would really love this film. He might bitch about certain mixes or versions [of the songs], but I think he would like the film very much. I really do.”