Magnolia Pictures revealed last night (Sept. 5) that it had acquired worldwide distribution rights to Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band ahead of its world premiere opening the 44th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Inspired by Robertson’s 2017 bestselling memoir Testimony, the film is directed by Daniel Roher (Ghosts of Our Forest) and features archival footage and interviews with collaborators and friends such as Martin Scorsese (who also serves as EP on the doc), Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Taj Mahal, Dominique Robertson and Ronnie Hawkins.
The multi-partner project, first unveiled in May, is a collaboration between LA-based Imagine Documentaries, White Pine Pictures, Bell Media Studios and Universal Music Canada’s Shed Creative. It’s executive produced by Scorsese, Imagine Entertainment chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein for Imagine Documentaries; White Pines Pictures’ president Peter Raymont and COO Steve Ord; Bell Media president, Randy Lennox; Jared Levine; Michael Levine; Universal Music Canada president and CEO Jeffrey Remedios; and Shed Creative’s managing director Dave Harris.
“Being a long-time fan of The Band, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band still held many surprises and information I didn’t know,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles in a statement. “Daniel Roher has fashioned a stirring tribute to a great American ensemble.”
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia’s EVP Dori Begley and SVP of acquisitions John Von Thaden with Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers. Magnolia head of international sales Lorna Lee Torres and international sales manager Marie Zeniter will launch international sales at TIFF. All international rights excluding Canada are currently available.
The doc is set to be released both theatrically and on Bell Media’s Crave SVOD in Canada later in the year. It is also set to launch Nova Scotia’s Lunenburg Doc Fest on Sept. 19.
With files from Playback Daily.