The docu made its premiere at Venice and Telluride, with SPC eyeing a theatrical release for 2022.
Inspired by the book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of Hallelujah by Alan Light, the documentary was produced and directed by Emmy Award winners Geller and Goldfine and executive produced by longtime Geller/Goldfine collaborator Jonathan Dana and Oscar winner Morgan Neville, along with Michael Drews and Robin Sagon. The late Hal Willner served as music producer, with John Lissauer providing an original score.
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song explores the legendary poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen through the lens of arguably his most famous and certainly most covered work, the hymn “Hallelujah”.
Approved for production by Cohen just before his 80th birthday in 2014, the documentary explores his transcendental “Hallelujah”, from its origins, to its poor initial reception, to its resurrection, and to its impact on other artists, finally becoming one of the most lionized songs of all time.
Appearing in the docu are Rufus Wainwright, Brandi Carlile, Judy Collins, Regina Spektor, Amanda Palmer, and Eric Church, among others, who have all recorded and performed their own versions of the emotional song. Other interviewees include Leonard’s long-time artistic collaborator Sharon Robinson; John Lissauer, producer and arranger of the original version of “Hallelujah”; record industry legend Clive Davis; and Larry “Ratso” Sloman, author, ex-Rolling Stone reporter, and long-time interviewer of Cohen, who shares never-before-heard, unedited tapes of interviews he recorded with the musician between 1974 and 2005.
Sony Pictures Classics said, “We loved this film from the first moment we saw it. HALLELUJAH is one of the great music movies about a song and a supreme artist, brought to the screen beautifully by Dan and Dayna. Audiences everywhere will adore and embrace this movie.”
“From the outset, our vision for Hallelujah has centered on a sustained worldwide theatrical release and so this partnership with Sony Pictures Classics is a dream come true. We know that the SPC team has the resources and talent to make HALLELUJAH a success and to foster a kind of global cultural conversation about the richness of Leonard Cohen’s spiritual journey and the epic story of his most beloved song. We could not be happier,” said Geller and Goldfine.
The deal was negotiated between Sony Pictures Classics and Dogwoof, who previously teamed on The Lost Leonard, which played in theaters earlier this year, as well as the 2019 documentary Maiden.
Geller and Goldfine are repped by Paul Mayersohn of Surpin, Mayersohn, and Coghill, LLP.