Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia’s Amazonian Odyssey, is Nominated for an Oscar! / March 1st, 2016

We are extremely proud of Ciro Guerra’s incredible Amazonian odyssey, the Academy Award® nominated EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT. The film is Colombia’s first ever Academy Award® nominee, and competed against such notable films as SON OF SAUL (Hungary) and MUSTANG (France).

At once blistering and poetic, the ravages of colonialism cast a dark shadow over the South American landscape in EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, the first film shot in the Amazonian rainforest in over 30 years. Filmed in stunning black-and-white, the film centers on Karamakate (portrayed in various stages by Nilbio Torres and Antonio Bolívar Salvado), an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists (Evan and Theo, portrayed by Brionne Davis and Jan Bijvoet) who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers (Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes) who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant.
EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the top prize, the CIACE Art Cinema Award, and also played at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, AFI Fest 2015 and the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival. The film also screened in the Spotlight section of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Prize. EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT was awarded the Golden Astor at the 2015 Mar Del Plata International Film Festival, and is nominated for the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best International Film. In addition, it recently won eight Macondo awards, Colombia’s equivalent of the Academy Awards®, including Best Film and Best Director, and filmmaker Ciro Guerra was named by Variety as one of Ten Directors to Watch in 2016.


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.”


Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Collin Schiffli’s lauded debut feature, ANIMALS out of AFM. The film, which was written by and stars esteemed actor David Dastmalchian (Prisoners, The Dark Knight), had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival earlier this year before continuing its international festival tour throughout the remainder of 2014.  Oscilloscope plans a 2015 release.

Incredibly moving and unexpectedly romantic, ANIMALS follows Jude and Bobbie, a young Chicagoan couple trapped in the throes of addiction. When one of them undergoes a life-altering setback, they must both confront the reality of their situation – forcing them to make a decision that will test their love and challenge their inextricable bond.

About the acquisition, Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger and David Laub said, “We are so thrilled to be releasing Animals, a film we haven’t been able to shake since first seeing it at South by Southwest.  The movie is at once a bold and honest look at one of the tougher parts of our world, while simultaneously a poetic and lyrical reflection on how love and human connection can get anyone through the most difficult of circumstances.  Collin is a major new filmmaker and we are excited to welcome him, David, and the rest of the Animals team to the O-Scope family.”

Filmmaker Colin Schiffli said, “Every step of this film has exceeded my highest expectations. Partnering with Oscilloscope was something we’ve always hoped for and we’re ecstatic that it’s really happening.”

The deal was negotiated by ICM Partners and Marc Simon of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard on behalf of the filmmakers.


Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to Félix and Meira. The film world premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and will next screen as part of the Official Selection at the San Sebastian Film Festival in October. O-Scope plans to release the film theatrically in 2015.

Félix and Meira is a calling card for its young director, Maxime Giroux; a story of an unconventional romance between two people living vastly different realities mere blocks away from one another. Each lost in their everyday lives, Meira (Hadas Yaron), a Hasidic Jewish wife and mother and Félix (Martin Dubreuil), a Secular loner mourning the recent death of his estranged father, unexpectedly meet in a local bakery in Montreal’s Mile End district. What starts as an innocent friendship becomes more serious as the two wayward strangers find comfort in one another. As Felix opens Meira’s eyes to the world outside of her tight-knit Orthodox community, her desire for change becomes harder for her to ignore, ultimately forcing her to choose: remain in the life that she knows or give it all up to be with Félix. Giroux’s film is a poignant and touching tale of self-discovery set against the backdrops of Montreal, Brooklyn, and Venice, Italy.

About the acquisition, Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger and David Laub said, “Felix and Meira is a nuanced, delicate, and sensitive film, expertly crafted by Maxime and soulfully acted by Hadas and Martin. We couldn’t be more excited to unveil it to US audiences who we know will be moved and delighted as they join these two people on an unforgettable journey.”

Filmmaker Maxime Giroux said, “It’s an honor for me to work with a stand out distribution company like Oscilloscope. Wendy and Lucy, which they released in 2008, has been an important film in my own cinematographic culture. I’m grateful for their support and looking forward to bringing this film to the attention of US audiences.”

Felix and Meira, Giroux’s third feature film, was produced in collaboration by Sylvain Corbeil and Nancy Grant from Metafilms inc. Eric Schnedecker of UDI (Urban Distribution International) negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.


Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to JINGLE BELL ROCKS, a feature documentary from director Mitchell Kezin. The film will be released by O-Scope during the upcoming holiday season.

In Jingle Bell Rocks!, Kezin delves into the minds of some of the world’s most legendary Christmas music fanatics and hits the road to hang with his holiday heroes – including hip hop legend Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons of RUN-D.M.C., The Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne, filmmaker John Waters, bebopper Bob Dorough, L.A. DJ and musicologist Dr. Demento, and Calypso legend The Mighty Sparrow. In his search for the twelve best, underappreciated Christmas songs ever recorded, Kezin both asks and answers the question, “Why, when Christmas rolls around, are we still stuck cozying up with Bing Crosby and dreaming of snow?”

Equal parts social history, pop culture pilgrimage and revealing character study, Jingle Bell Rocks! follows this motley crew of merry misfits as they confront the Christmas music mainstream, reinventing the seasonal soundtrack for the 21st century. With rollicking live performances, intimate interviews, and a kaleidoscope of touching and rare archive footage, Jingle Bell Rocks! is a cinematic sleigh-ride into the strange and sublime universe of alternative Christmas music. It’s also a mix-tape of twelve of the weirdest, wildest, most poignant Christmas songs you’ve never heard.

About the acquisition, Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger and David Laub said, “As lovers of great underground music and terrifically offbeat characters, we felt this film was a perfect fit for O-scope. Mitch has made a funny and endearing documentary that we think will be a holiday staple for years to come. At least for us two Jews.”

Filmmaker Mitchell Kezin said, “It’s been an incredibly long and difficult journey bringing this film to completion and to have it end up embraced by Oscilloscope in this way is truly a Christmas miracle! I won’t be asking Santa for anything more this Christmas and with O-Scope by my side, I look forward to saving Christmas music, one great unknown song at a time!”

Jingle Bell Rocks! is the debut feature documentary from Mitchell Kezin produced in collaboration with Daniel Cross, Mila Aung-Thwin & Bob Moore of EyeSteelFilm Inc., along with Jeffrey Kline of Darby Pop Productions.