Roadside Attractions has acquired domestic rights to Nick Broomfield’s Sundance Film Festival documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, which follows the enduring love story between legendary Canadian folk singer Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse, Marianne Ihlen. A release is planned for later this year.
The documentary starts on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960, where Cohen, then a struggling and unknown fiction writer, and Marianne, a single mother with a young son, became part of community of expat artists, writers and musicians. Never-before-seen footage shot by Broomfield and legendary documentarian D.A. Pennebaker make for a unique portrait of an idyllic 1960’s bohemia. It was on Hydra in 1968 that Broomfield, then aged 20, first himself met Marianne. She introduced him to Cohen’s music and encouraged Broomfield to make his first film. His career would spawn many iconic music legend docs about Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love.
“Making this film was like coming full circle,” says Broomfield in a statement. “It is D.A. Pennebaker’s unseen footage of Marianne, shot on Hydra all those years ago, that we found in a vault, that is used in the film. D.A. Pennebaker, Marianne, and Leonard have remained the greatest of influences, and it was a privilege to make this film.”
“Any Leonard Cohen fan can tell you that there’s something profoundly romantic about his music,” said Cohen and d’Arbeloff, “While it’s hard to know what inspires great art, the extraordinary love story between Marianne and Leonard comes to life in Nick’s film in a way that will inspire everyone who sees it.”
The deal was brokered by leading global distributor Kew Media Distribution, which has worldwide rights to Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, supported by Cassian Elwes, Elevated Film Sales, Inc. Angel An, Senior Director of Acquisitions negotiated the deal on behalf of Roadside Attractions. Jonathan Ford, EVP of Sales, Distribution negotiated the deal on behalf of Kew Media Distribution.
Produced by Broomfield, Marc Hoeferlin, Shani Hinton and Kyle Gibbon, the film is executive produced by Charles Finch, Patrick Holland, Cassian Elwes, Lisa Savage, Jan Christian Mollestad, Tony Palmer, and Rudi Dolezal.
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