Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights from The Match Factory to Anna Muylaert’s The Second Mother (Que Hora Ela Volta?), which just had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Acting for its two leads, Regina Case and Camila Mardila. It will next be seen as an official selection of the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, where it premieres on Sunday evening. O-Scope will release the film theatrically later this year.
An excitingly fresh take on some classic themes and ideas, The Second Mother centers around Val, a hard-working live-in housekeeper in modern day Sao Paulo. Val is perfectly content to take care of every one of her wealthy employers’ needs, from cooking and cleaning to being a surrogate mother to their teenage son, who she has raised since he was a toddler. But when Val’s estranged daughter Jessica suddenly shows up the unspoken but intrinsic class barriers that exist within the home are thrown into disarray. Jessica is smart, confident, and ambitious, and refuses to accept the upstairs/downstairs dynamic, testing relationships and loyalties and forcing everyone to reconsider what family really means.
About the acquisition, Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger and David Laub said, “The Second Mother is an absolutely wonderful film. It’s smart, sophisticated, and often times incisively funny. It’s also full of warmth and heart and filled with complex, relatable characters and layered storylines, all of which come together in a highly satisfying and emotional way. It was such a joy to discover this film in Sundance, and we think audiences in the U.S. will really respond to it.”
Filmmaker Anna Muylaert said, “The process of The Second Mother started when I had my first son 20 years ago and realized that motherhood was the most important job one could do in life. But, I also realized that in Brazil, this was considered a second class job. The figure of the nanny came about with all the social nuances that come with it. When we first showed this film at Sundance, I wasn’t sure if people outside of my country could understand the complexity of these relationships, but when the film ended, peoples’ reactions showed me that they are universal.
Producer Fabiano Gullane said: “After a really warm reception in Sundance, it´s a big satisfaction having guaranteed distribution across the U.S. with Oscilloscope, a company which we admire and believe will do a great job with the film.”