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Amazon buys Grateful Dead doc ahead of Sundance premiere

Amazon Studios wasted no time kicking off the dealmaking at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, snatching up a documentary about the Grateful Dead two days before the start of the fest.

Amazon Studios on Wednesday announced it has acquired the rights to “Long Strange Trip,” a four-hour documentary chronicling the career of the influential San Francisco-based band that rose to prominence in the late 1960s.

The film -- which is directed by Amir Bar-Lev and executive produced by Martin Scorsese -- “probes the creative forces, subversive ambitions and interpersonal dynamics that drove the Grateful Dead in their 30-year quest for moments of collective inspiration,” the studio said in a statement.

“Long Strange Trip” will make its world premiere this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, with surviving band members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann taking part in a private performance to celebrate the occasion on Sunday.

The film will then debut on Amazon’s streaming video service in the U.S. and the U.K. on May 26 as a six-part documentary.

“Over several decades a group of guys hung together making music in a group that was way tighter and lasted much longer than most marriages. Here’s the movie,” Weir said in a statement.

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