Zeitgeist Films in Association With Kino Lorber Acquires North American Rights to Jeff Zimbalist’s Doc 'How to Come Alive With Norman Mailer'
Zeitgeist Films in association with Kino Lorber has acquired North American rights to Jeff Zimbalist’s How to Come Alive With Norman Mailer, a nuanced, fiercely honest documentary portrait of one of America’s most famous and infamous literary icons. The film made its North American premiere at DOC NYC last fall and will be released theatrically via Zeitgeist Films in late June 2024, followed by an educational, home video, and digital release on all major platforms by Kino Lorber.
How to Come Alive With Norman Mailer explores the rollercoaster life of Norman Mailer, America’s most controversial and bestselling author of the 20th Century. Propelled by his tremendous ego and contrarian spirit, Mailer’s ceaseless visibility in the public eye lasted six decades, during which time he had six tumultuous marriages, nine beloved children, eleven bestsellers, three arrests, and two Pulitzer Prizes. Alternately revered and reviled as a prophet, hedonist, violent criminal, literary outlaw, and social provocateur, Mailer and his ideas about love, anger, fear, and courage cut to the very core of human nature and resonated deeply with his readers.
The first project with full access to Mailer’s family and their archive, the film unearths a treasure trove of intimate and never-before-seen footage, including outtakes, audio recordings, and interviews from throughout his life; Mailer lays himself bare, foibles and all. As a lover, fighter, rabble-rouser, and perhaps the last true American public intellectual, Mailer sought most of all to become a bolder, better human being and encouraged all to do the same — to think adventurously, speak fearlessly, and care less about the response, or risk a doomed future.
Zeitgeist Co-Presidents Emily Russo and Nancy Gerstman said, “We were incredibly entertained by this fascinating and deeply personal portrait of a writer we have long admired. This provocative documentary portrait is surely one that Mailer himself would have appreciated, and we’re sure audiences will too.”
Director Jeff Zimbalist added, “We're thrilled to have such experienced theatrical distributors bringing Mailer's most provocative and important ideas to audiences in a time when they're more relevant than ever."
How to Come Alive With Norman Mailer was executive produced by Stu Schreiberg, Vinnie Malhotra, and John Buffalo Mailer, and produced by Jeff Zimbalist and Vicki Marquette. The production companies were Triage Entertainment and All Rise Films.
The deal for How to Come Alive With Norman Mailer was negotiated by Emily Russo and Nancy Gerstman of Zeitgeist Films with UTA Independent Film Group.
Zeitgeist Films recently celebrated its 35th year in business with a retrospective of some of their past titles, including 4K restorations of Sophie Scholl: The Final Days and Guy Maddin’s Archangel. Zeitgeist most recently released Nancy Buirski’s Desperate Souls: Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy, and will release Ken Loach’s The Old Oak in April 2024 and Amei Wallach’s Taking Venice in May 2024.