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Magnolia Pictures to Distribute Roger Ebert Doc LIFE ITSELF

Magnolia Pictures to Distribute Roger Ebert Doc LIFE ITSELF

Magnolia Pictures have acquired US theatrical, VOD and home entertainment rights to LIFE ITSELF, a documentary about the life of Roger Ebert directed by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters). LIFE ITSELF premiered to critical acclaim at Sundance in January and Magnolia is eyeing a summer release, followed by an exclusive broadcast on CNN later in the year. The strategy is similar to the company’s previous collaboration with CNN Films on the hit documentary Blackfish.

Based on Ebert’s memoir of the same name, LIFE ITSELF recounts his fascinating and flawed journey—from politicized school newspaperman, to Chicago Sun-Times movie critic, to Pulitzer Prize winner, to television household name, to the miracle of finding love at 50, and finally his “third act” as a major voice on the Internet when he could no longer physically speak.

“We’re delighted to re-team with Magnolia for another thoughtful film that will have a strong, lasting impact on all who see it. Together, we look forward to bringing Steve James’ beautiful portrait of an American icon to audiences across all platforms,” Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide.

The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley with Cinetic Media on behalf of Kartemquin, Film Rites, KatLei and CNN Films.

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