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Directed by Steve James (Hoop Dreams), the film made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered Jan. 19 at the MARC. In his review, THR‘s Todd McCarthy called the documentary “engrossing, unflinching, moving and comprehensive … a three-dimensional portrait.”
The movie, which is based on the late Ebert’s memoir, was mostly filmed during the last five months of the iconic film critic’s life.
Zak Piper, James and Garrett Basch produced the film. Martin Scorsese, Steven Zaillian, Michael W. Ferro Jr., Gordon Quinn, Justine Nagan, Kat White and Mark Mitten executive produced. CNN Films’ Vinnie Malhotra and Amy Entelis also exec produced the title.
Magnolia beat out a number of suitors including IFC, Oscilloscope and The Weinstein Company. CNN already acquired TV rights to the documentary.
Life Itself marks the third Sundance title picked up by Magnolia. The distributor also nabbed the Michael Fassbender starrer Frank as well as Joe Swanberg‘s Happy Christmas before the festival began.
Cinetic Media repped the filmmakers.
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