EXCLUSIVE: Long-lost Leonard Cohen documentary Bird on a Wire and The World of Peter Sellers, which was banned by the BBC in 1971, are set to see the light of day in the U.S. after North American distributor Synicado acquired U.S. rights.
The Toronto-based digital distributor has struck a deal with director Tony Palmer and Isolde Films for the two films, as well as a raft of other docs. It has picked up the films to sell to major SVOD services such as Amazon, Netflix, Google and Apple.
Bird on a Wire follows Cohen on his legendary 1972 tour, which sees the musician confront fans and security guards and culminates in him having an emotional crisis in Jerusalem. The film only previously existed in bootleg form until 2010 when it was restored from the original footage.
Meanwhile, The World of Peter Sellers was a profile of the late actor, who said that the film was the “only portrait which really understood me”. The film features interviews with friends, fans, and colleagues including Raquel Welch, Yul Brenner, Spike Milligan, Laurence Harvey.
Also included in the agreement are docs including The World of Hugh Hefner, The World of Liberace and portraits of German composers such as Hindemith, Carl Orff and a controversial film about the Wagner family.
“It is an incredible honor to be able to work with Mr. Palmer and bring his legendary films to North America on VOD. And for avid Leonard Cohen fans such as myself, Bird on a Wire is a special treat. The long-lost documentary can finally get the audience it deserves” said Greg Rubidge, President of Syndicado.
“I’m delighted that someone finally believes in what I had done over the years,” added Palmer.