New documentaries about Tom Petty, Demi Lovato, and Charli XCX will have their world premieres at the 2021 South by Southwest Film Festival. The festival will run March 16th through 20th and will take place virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The three films comprise the festival’s “Headliners” category. Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil will serve as the opening night film on March 16th, while the Charli XCX doc, Alone Together, will close out the festival on the 20th. Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free will be the festival’s centerpiece film, although it’s unclear when it will premiere.
Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil is a four-part docuseries, and following its SXSW premiere, the first two episodes will arrive on YouTube on March 23rd (the following two will be released weekly on each of the following Tuesdays). Directed by Michael D. Ratner, the series will cover the last three years of Lovato’s life and career, including her near-fatal overdose in 2018 and its aftermath.
Alone Together, meanwhile, chronicles the making of Charli XCX’s 2020 album, How I’m Feeling Now, which she made entirely in quarantine at the beginning of the pandemic. Directed by Bradley Bell and Pablo Jones-Soler, a description says the film will follow Charli on a “whirlwind creative and romantic journey while making an album in 40 days that unites a community around the world.”
As for Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free, the film was directed by Mary Wharton and was made from a newly discovered archive of 16mm film shot while Petty was making his acclaimed 1994 record Wildflowers. The film arrives on the heels of last year’s Wildflowers and All the Rest, a reissue that presented the record as the double-LP Petty had initially envisioned.
The full 2021 SXSW film lineup is available on the festival’s website, where a limited number of online passes are available as well.