Mongrel acquires Marilyn for Canada

Distributor Mongrel Media has acquired all Canadian rights for Liz Garbus’s TIFF hit Love, Marilyn (pictured), after being wowed by the doc during the Toronto festival, Playback sister publication realscreen has learned exclusively.

Mongrel is planning a Canadian theatrical release, likely to be later this year or in the first half of 2013. The news comes after U.S. net HBO last week picked up American TV rights for the doc, which features an array of big-name Hollywood actors reading the writings of iconic late actor and model Marilyn Monroe.

“We’re excited to bring another Liz Garbus film to Canadian audiences,” Mongrel Media’s manager of acquisitions and broadcast sales, Caroline Habib, told realscreen. “Love, Marilyn is beautiful and definitely stood out at the festival.”

The deal was brokered by Habib and Mongrel Media president and founder Hussain Amarshi, with David Koh of Submarine representing the filmmakers. Mongrel already has Canadian distribution rights for a number of other big TIFF docs, including The Gatekeepers, Stories We Tell, The End of Time and West of Memphis. The distributor previously represented Garbus’s 2011 Hot Docs hit Bobby Fischer against the World in Canada.

Talking to realscreen last week about the making of Love, Marilyn, director Garbus said she knew she was taking a risk by employing such a diverse range of modern day actors (pictured below) to give voice to the famous star.

“I felt like I was going out on a limb,” she said, “I was doing something that I hadn’t done before and that, actually, I hadn’t really seen before. There wasn’t a roadmap.”

actors starring in "love, marilyn" include (clockwise from top-left) glenn close, marisa tomei, viola davis, rachel evan wood, uma thurman, ellen burstyn, lindsay lohan and elizabeth banks.

Actors portraying Monroe include (clockwise from top-left) Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Viola Davis, Evan Rachel Wood, Uma Thurman, Ellen Burstyn, Lindsay Lohan & Elizabeth Banks.