Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free, a new documentary about the late musician, will premiere as a "centerpiece film" during SXSW Online in March.

The festival's site describes Mary Wharton's Somewhere You Feel Free as "an intimate view of a musical icon," drawing from a "newly discovered archive of 16mm film" showing the singer-songwriter at work on 1994's Wildflowers.

SXSW Online, the 28th edition of the SXSW Film Festival, will take place March 16-20 across web, mobile and premium TV viewing platforms.

Seven films will launch every two hours (from 11AM to 9PM ET), with most released between March 16 and 18, opening with those featuring global access and no audience-capacity limits. The festival will include 75 features, with 57 as world premieres. Full details are available online.

"A film will remain available on-demand until it hits its audience capacity or the event ends," reads a note on the SXSW site. "Those without a capacity limit will be available for the duration of the event. While SXSW is a global event, certain films will be restricted to access in the United States due to rights and/or filmmaker or distributor discretion."

“It’s been a year unlike any we’ve experienced, first marked by the cancellation of SXSW 2020,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film, in a statement. “We feel privileged to have been able to pivot to SXSW Online and present a fantastic treasure trove of programming, including a pared down and wonderful selection of films that we know will delight, entertain and move our attendees. SXSW Online will bring attendees a multifaceted event that speaks to so many areas of creativity in one five-day experience that everyone can access on their laptops, phones and TVs. While we won’t have the wonderful in-person SXSW that we know and love, we can gather together to be inspired by the work.”

SXSW's other 2021 "headliners" are documentaries focusing on pop stars: Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil and Alone Together (about Charli XCX).

Petty's estate released an expanded box-set edition of Wildflowers in October.


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