"When I Die"–Hunter S. Thompson tribute video a hit at Denver Film Festival

WHEN I DIE, Wayne Ewing’s hour-long documentary about the effort to honor Hunter S. Thompson’s request to have his ashes blasted from an immense Gonzo fist, premiered to a standing-room-only crowd in Denver Saturday. WHEN I DIE was shown during a tribute to Thompson at the Denver Press Club as part of the Starz Denver International Film Festival. Denver Post writer Annette Espinoza reports, “It was standing room only as fans of the late, legendary gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson watched the debut of a new film that showed the work that went into creating a 2 1/2-ton cannon that blasted his ashes into the sky during his elaborate memorial service in August in Woody Creek.”

Ewing’s film was well-received by those who knew Hunter best: “Thompson’s family, friends and fans laughed and cheered during the film,” writes Espinoza, “and gave a standing ovation after it ended.” Hunter’s widow Anita attended the screening and participated in a panel discussion afterward. “The monument was larger than life, just like Hunter,” she told the crowd.

John Colson of the Aspen Times notes that the film “was so popular that the Starz Denver International Film Festival added two late-night screenings that were not originally scheduled at the Nov. 12 event.” Filmmaker Ewing, who also shot the memorable documentary BREAKFAST WITH HUNTER, called his new work “an independent filmmaker’s dream. It was a testament to Hunter’s work and iconic status in American culture.”

Johnny Depp, who funded the $2million-plus memorial project, does not appear in Ewing’s film; the documentary focuses on the construction of the monument. Fans of the Good Doctor who would like to see “When I Die” can order a copy from the Breakfast with Hunter website for $19.95 plus shipping and handling. You can order a copy HERE.

The Zone thanks Brandy, emma, and JD101 for contributing stories and information about WHEN I DIE to the Zone’s News & Views forum.