Film Premiere: Grateful Dead and Phish Tour-Inspired Film ‘Around The Fire’ Returns for 25th Anniversary
After 25 years, the iconic cult classic 1998 film, Around The Fire–inspired by writers and producers Tommy Rosen and John W. Comerford’s real-life explorations into the Grateful Dead and Phish music cultures–is set to premiere on Relix‘s YouTube page Thursday, April 20 at 7:20 p.m. The film’s premiere will be in benefit of Backline.care, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that connects music industry professionals and their families with mental health and wellness resources. Following the screening, there will be a live Q&A with Rosen and Comerford, along with actors from the film.
Around The Fire stars Devon Sawa, Tara Reid, Colman Domingo, Eric Mabius and Bill Smitrovich, drips with ’90s gold hammered by the project’s shoestring budget, hectic pace and extensive 110-page script–the film was shot over just 28 days on 35mm film, and extra’s were coaxed with “Free Beer.”
Around The Fire’s soundtrack–which was supervised by Charles Raggio–stands up tall against the test of time with songs by Bob Marley, Phish, The Meters, Blind Faith, and Dire Straits, along with a previously unreleased Grateful Dead version of their classic song, “Brown-Eyed Women” from May 4, 1977, made available to the film by Liquid City Records courtesy of the Grateful Dead vault. The film’s location, San Francisco, furthers its deep ties with the jamband culture and enduring flame of the scene, which has continuously evolved while picking up fans along the way. The film’s score also features original compositions by BC Smith and performed by iconic guitarist Bill Frisell, with “spot on” editing as reported by Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
“It’s a film for anyone interested in what it takes to become an authentic human being by walking the often-difficult road toward love, honesty, and self-acceptance,” said Steve Silberman, writer for Wired Magazine and author of Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads.
Notably, Around The Fire was given a 10-minute standing ovation at the Seattle International Film Festival upon its release and was received warmly at South by Southwest and Giffoni Film Festival, where it won the Best Picture Award.
Backline.care is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that connects music industry professionals and their families with mental health and wellness resources whose partners include Rex Foundation, DAYGLO Ventures, Conscious Alliance and Neal Casal Music Foundation.
Witness the return of Around The Fire here.
Watch a trailer for the film below.