APMFF Film Announcements!

Asbury Park is the place for classic rock lovers to be this April, as new documentaries about iconic California bands The Doors and the Grateful Dead will be playing the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival.

“Break On Thru: A Celebration of Ray Manzarek and The Doors,” directed and produced by Justin Kreutzmann, will make its world premiere 12:45 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the House of Independents, 572 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park.

The film documents the 2016 Los Angeles concert by Doors drummer and guitarist John Densmore and Robby Krieger commemorating the 70th birthday of Manzarek, the Doors’ keyboard player who died in 2013.

“Break on Thru” having its world premiere in town marks the latest development in a relationship between The Doors and Asbury Park that stretches back more than half a century; the band played the historic Convention Hall on the Asbury Park Boardwalk in 1967 and 1968.

Krieger then played the inaugural edition of what was then called the Asbury Park Music in Film Festival in 2015.

“I remember when we played Convention Hall, that was crazy,” Krieger told the Asbury Park Press in 2012. “The people were nuts, they were so loud. I guess they were typical Jersey-ites.”

“Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead,” will screen 2:15 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at the House of Independents.

The film, clocking in at nearly four hours, will be followed by a panel discussion with producers Kreutzmann and Eric Eisner, moderated by Asbury Park Press features reporter and “Fan Theory” podcast co-host Alex Biese.


Adrian Boot in Egypt in 1978, with Donna Jean Godchaux (from left), Jerry Garcia and Bill Kreutzmann. (Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video)

“Long Strange Trip” is an epic accounting of the Grateful Dead’s history. It was released to select cinemas in May 2017 and began streaming via Amazon Prime Video in June.

The film, directed by Amir Bar-Lev, is up for a Best Music Film Grammy on Sunday, Jan. 28, and it made the shortlist of 15 works in the running for the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award.

“This movie was completely made by Deadheads at the core,” said Eisner in an interview earlier this month. “We also had a group around us that were not Deadheads, who were kind of able to look at it just as a music film, or at the core really just a film. So the core of us were kind of super fans and then around us not, the combination worked great.”

Eisner, founder and CEO of Double E Pictures, serves on the board of the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival. He gave local audiences an early glimpse into the film via a panel discussion with fellow producers Nick Koskoff and Kreutzmann, son of founding Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, at the 2016 iteration of the festival.

 Tickets for both screenings — $20 each for “Break on Thru” and “Long Strange Trip” — as well as VIP and student passes, are available via www.apmff.org.

Tickets for both films, along with a variety of APMFF VIP and student packages, are now available by visiting www.apmff.org.

Presented by founding partners RWJ Barnabas Health and the Asbury Park Press, the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival raises funds for music programs for children in the Asbury Park area.

Tim Ziegler