On October 14, the hotly anticipated Warner Bros. Records film “Runnin’ Down A Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” will have its first public screening. Directed by cinema legend Peter Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”), “Runnin’ Down A Dream” has been selected to close the 2007 New York Film Festival. “Runnin’ Down A Dream” tells a great American story, that of a band that came from the middle of nowhere to win the hearts of millions. The film focuses not only on the Heartbreakers’ inspiring ride to the top but the story of what they did when they got there, as artists, as a band, as people. Bogdanovich’s film explores many of the underlying reasons for the band’s unparalleled capacity not only to endure but to thrive. Gritty, exuberant, infectious: “Runnin’ Down A Dream” tells the Heartbreakers’ story as never before. The New York Film Festival screening will take place at the legendary Walter Reade Theater on October 14. Beginning October 15, “Runnin’ Down A Dream” will be screened at select theaters nationwide. A list of cities and participating theaters will be announced shortly.
The film, two years in the making, weaves together remarkable archival material, previously unseen 8mm footage, new live and rehearsal footage, and extensive interviews conducted by director Bogdanovich. Producer, George Drakoulias claims that it was Bogdanovich’s work on “The Last Picture Show” that made him think the director would have a sensitivity for the context of the Heartbreakers’ story. “That movie made me think that Peter could really grasp the intricacies of what we were looking at in this 30-year career,” Drakoulias explains. In zeroing in on both the shadows and the light around the band’s uniquely American success story, Bogdanovich finally explores the complexity of the American dream itself. As he describes, “I saw the film as a vivid piece of Americana about a natural-born poet-musician from Florida who decided to go West with a richly talented band to become rock stars. It is an extraordinary odyssey, the fascination being I think in the details of the adventure.”
“Runnin’ Down A Dream” digs deep in order to reveal the combination of unwavering talent, artistic vision, and sheer persistence that has made the Heartbreakers’ thirty-plus year run possible. The film features in-depth interviews with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the circle of musicians, friends and collaborators who came into the band’s orbit over the years. Participants include Stevie Nicks, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, George Harrison, Jackson Browne, Roger McGuinn, Dave Stewart, Jeff Lynne, Rick Rubin, Jimmy Iovine, Johnny Depp, and others.
In addition to tracking the Heartbreakers over their decades together, “Runnin’ Down A Dream” also follows Tom Petty’s solo adventures and his time as a Traveling Wilbury alongside George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. A celebration of what can happen when artists are given the chance to explore the depths of their own talent, “Runnin’ Down A Dream” is the story of an artistic victory unlike any other.
In mid-October, building upon the film’s momentum, Chronicle Books will release “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” a 250-page coffee table book that will be available in mid-October at book shops throughout the US and Canada. It includes more than 300 photos and extensive text from the Bogdanovich interviews. Together, the interviews and photos provide a unique, inside perspective on the remarkable life and career of a rock and roll legend.
Tickets for the New York Film Festival screening will be available at www.filmlinc.com/nyff/tickets.html.
TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS released their debut album in 1976. Since that time they have sold more than 50 million records and remain one of the biggest touring acts in the business. Despite the scale of their success and the creative range of their work, the Heartbreakers maintain a reputation as a rock-and-roll band, always true to the music’s original inspiration. Between the Heartbreakers’ recordings and his solo work, Tom Petty has received 18 Grammy nominations. Honored with lifetime achievement awards including Billboard’s Century Award, MTV’s Video Vanguard Award, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tom Petty, with the Heartbreakers at his side, has achieved the status of legend among his fellow musicians and listeners worldwide.
Peter Bogdanovich has earned a reputation as one of American cinema’s great filmmakers. In addition to his work as a director, Bogdanovich has received acclaim as an author, a critic, a screenwriter, a documentarian, an actor, and a historian. His films, including “The Last Picture Show,” “Paper Moon,” and “Mask” have been Oscar-winning landmarks. “The Last Picture Show” is a National Treasure as declared by the Library of Congress. Viewers know him for his recurring role and directing work on “The Sopranos.” Film historians and movie buffs alike know him both for his monographs on Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Ford. On the heels of “Runnin’ Down A Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,” Bogdanovich will return to feature film directing with a new film entitled “Star-Crossed,” based on a true Hollywood love story. He’s also planning a return to the theater, to do a Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ last play, “In Masks Outrageous and Austere,” which is being co-presented by Gore Vidal.