08 Feb 2019


Roadside Attractions has acquired North American rights to award-winning director Nick Broomfield’s acclaimed film Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, which was in the Documentary Premieres section of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.  Broomfield’s film is about the enduring love story between legendary Canadian folk singer Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse, Marianne Ihlen. The announcement was made today by Roadside co-founders Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff with a planned release date later this year. 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.

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is renowned filmmaker Broomfield’s most personal and romantic film of his storied career. The documentary starts on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960, where Leonard, 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 a time that left a lasting imprint on both Marianne and Leonard, whose friendship would last another fifty years before their deaths in 2016. 

It was on Hydra in 1968 that director Nick Broomfield, then aged 20, first himself met Marianne. She introduced him to Leonard Cohen’s music and encouraged Nick to make his first film.   As she was with so many artists, Marianne was an enormous influence on Broomfield, who went on to direct award-winning documentaries, many about iconic music legends including Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love.

“Making this film was like coming full circle,” says Broomfield.  “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.”

Produced by Nick 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.

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 supported by.  Cassian Elwes, Elevated Film Sales, Inc.



Since its founding in 2003, ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS films have grossed over $300M and garnered nineteen Academy Award® nominations.   Roadside Attractions released the #1 independent film of 2018, the faith-based I Can Only Imagine, which grossed $83.5M. The company has released such critical and commercial hits as Manchester by the Sea, Ben is Back, Beatriz at Dinner, Whitney, Stronger, Love & Friendship, Hello My Name is Doris, Mr. Holmes, Love & Mercy, A Most Wanted Man, Dear White People, The Skeleton Twins, All Is Lost, Mud, Winter’s Bone, The Cove, Arbitrage, Margin Call and Super-Size Me. Its upcoming slate includes the highly-anticipated Judy Garland biopic Judy, starring Academy Award winner Renee Zellweger, and Run The Race, a faith based drama from executive producers Tim Tebow and Robby Tebow, starring Mykelti Williamson,  Frances Fisher,  Tanner Stine, Evan Hofer, Mario Van Peebles and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George.



Kew Media Distribution, part of Kew Media Group, produces and acquires more than 1,000 hours of new multi-genre content every year and distributes a diverse catalogue of film, television and digital assets to broadcasters and viewing platforms across the world. Kew Media Distribution manages international rights to a library of over 10,000 hours of TV and digital content, including major drama series, non-fiction entertainment, special event programming, kids’ series, TV movies and mini-series.

Steve Elzer

Elzer & Associates