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 (THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR, BALLETS RUSSES), and executive produced by longtime Geller/Goldfine collaborator Jonathan Dana and Academy Award® 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 Leonard Cohen just before his 80th birthday in 2014, the movie is a deep exploration of Cohen’s transcendental “Hallelujah”, from its origins, to its poor initial reception, to its resurrection, and to its influence on other artists, finally becoming one of the most recognised and lionized songs of all time. The result is a fresh perspective on one of the 20th century’s greatest artists.
The documentary features interviews with Rufus Wainwright, Brandi Carlile, Judy Collins, Regina Spektor, Amanda Palmer, and Eric Church, amongst others, who have all recorded and performed their own versions of “Hallelujah”. 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 Leonard Cohen, who shares never-before-heard, unedited tapes of interviews he recorded with Cohen between 1974 and 2005.
HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG showcases previously unseen personal notebooks, journals and photographs, performance footage, and extremely rare audio recordings and interviews, all made uniquely available to the filmmakers by the Leonard Cohen Family Trust. The film is the story of a song and a man, one intertwined with the other.
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 worked together on THE LOST LEONARDO, which was released in theaters earlier this year, as well as the 2019 documentary MAIDEN.
Geller and Goldfine are represented by Paul Mayersohn of Surpin, Mayersohn, and Coghill, LLP.