The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free

Calling all American Girls (and boys)! The life of Tom Petty is on display in a new verite documentary of previously lost archive material.

Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free offers a unique look at the Petty legacy, diving deep into a condensed period of creativity and freedom for the legendary rock star. Narrowing in on the period of 1993-1995 – during which he created his most emotionally raw album “Wildflowers” – the unvarnished look at Tom Petty is captured in never-before-seen 16mm film footage recently unearthed by his daughter Adria. Combined with new interviews from album co-producer Rick Rubin, and Heartbreaker’s Mike Campbell & Benmont Tench, the film is a reconstitution and reappraisal of Tom Petty’s creative process during a transitional point of his career.

A novel time capsule of an artist at work that is as insightful as it is uplifting. The richness of the lost footage is begging to be seen after so many years away.


“The footage of Tom Petty making his “Wildflowers” album with Rick Rubin, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Howie Epstein, Steve Ferrone and George Drakoulias is truly a treasure. Martyn Atkins, who filmed most of the material, did an amazing job of capturing these events in such a beautifully intimate way, and the camaraderie in the studio is palpable.” — Mary Wharton, director

“Somewhere You Feel Free is a love letter to Petty, but also to that most mysterious of alchemies, the chemistry of a rock ‘n’ roll band.” — Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“Somewhere You Feel Free doesn’t develop into a snapshot so much as a loving impression of a legend gone too soon. But the beautiful 16mm footage (with the new interviews shot to match) will trigger warm memories from Petty’s truest fans, and Wharton interprets the music in a way that should allow this film to serve as an irresistible entry point for neophytes who don’t realize how many Petty songs they already know by heart.” — David Ehrlich, indiewire