North American rights to Jalmari Helander’s Toronto debut, “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” have been acquired by Oscilloscope Laboratories, the company said Sunday. Oscilloscope plans a December release and the film will have its U.S. premiere next weekend at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX. It marks one more acquisition for a particularly busy Toronto Film Festival.
“A Christmas Tale” is set on the eve of Christmas in northern Finland where an archeological dig unearths Santa Claus. This particular Santa, however, isn’t the kindly one of popular folklore. When most of the town’s children go missing, Pietari and his father, a local hunter named Rauno, come into possession of the mythological being. Rauno’s clan of hunters attempt to cash in on the opportunity by selling Santa back to the misguided leader of the multinational corporation sponsoring the dig. The result is a humorous nightmare – a fantastically bizzare polemic on modern day morality.
“This is really a unique film, the filmmaking exceptional, Jalmari’s sense of timing, perfect,” commented Oscilloscope founder Adam Yauch in a statement. “I’m tempted to say it’s like the Coen brothers meets ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,’ but ‘Rare Exports’ is so original in it’s feel and approach that I’ll refrain from such comparisons and simply say – gas up your snowmobiles, load your shotguns and smoke ’em if you got ’em – ’cause we intend to uncage this sucker in theaters for the holidays.”