Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all global rights, excluding France and Germany, to the new feature documentary Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song.
The film, which earned critical acclaim at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals, will receive a theatrical release in North America in 2022. The deal was negotiated between Sony Pictures Classics and Dogwoof, who previously worked together on The Lost Leonardo, which was released theatrically earlier this year.
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song was produced and directed by Dan Geller and Dayna 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 was music producer, with John Lissauer providing an original score.
The film was inspired by the book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of Hallelujah written by Alan Light, and explores the legendary poet and singer-songwriter through the lens of arguably his most famous and most covered work, the song “Hallelujah.” The doc was approved for production by Cohen just before his 80th birthday in 2014, and explores “Hallelujah,” from its origins to its poor initial reception, and to its resurrection and its eventual influence on other artists, becoming one of the most recognized songs of all time.
The documentary includes interviews with 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 “Hallelujah.” Also featured are record industry legend Clive Davis and Larry “Ratso” Sloman, author, ex-Rolling Stone reporter, and longtime Cohen interviewer, who shares unedited, never-before-heard tapes of interviews he recorded with the artist between 1974 and 2005. It also includes rare archival material made available to the filmmakers by the Leonard Cohen Family Trust.
“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 in a news release.