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Magnolia Pictures Grabs U.S. Rights to Bob Marley Documentary

The Kevin Macdonald-directed project will open in theaters and on VOD and digital platforms April 20, after its world premiere at the Berlin film festival.

Bob Marley - P 1974

Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to Marley, the first documentary about iconic musician Bob Marley made with the support of the Marley family. The film will open in theaters and on VOD and digital platforms April 20, after its world premiere at the Berlin film festival. VH1 also has partnered to license the first TV window of the film as part of its Rock Doc franchise.

Kevin Macdonald directed the project, which makes use of rare footage, archival photos, performances and interviews with family, friends and bandmates. The film's North American premiere will take place at the SXSW Film Festival in March.

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“Bob Marley is a fascinating, towering figure in musical history, and Marley is the biography that he deserves,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “Kevin Macdonald has once again shown himself to be a master documentarian with this eye-opening, entertaining, beautifully crafted film.”

Macdonald won an Oscar for best feature documentary for directing One Day in September in 1999.

Steve Bing of Shangri-La Entertainment produced Marley with Charles SteelZiggy Marley and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell are executive producers.

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“This documentary is the ultimate revelation of my father’s life,” said Ziggy Marley. “The family is proud to be able to have the world finally experience this emotional journey."

Magnolia execs Dori Begley and Chris Matson negotiated the deal with Brad Abramson and Liesl Copland of WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers. Ben Zurier negotiated for VH1.

Magnolia Pictures most recently released Melancholia, Page One: Inside the New York Times, Blackthorn, All Good Things and I Am Love. Upcoming releases include Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, Take This Waltz, The Hunter, Jiro Dreams of Sushi and Headhunters. The indie distributor acquired the features The Queen of Versailles, V/H/S, Nobody Walks, Compliance and 2 Days in New York at the Sundance Film Festival in January.