By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire August 6, 2009 at 4:10AM
A partnership between Milestone Films and Oscilloscope Laboratories will deliver some twenty-five films on DVD over the next three years. Known for restoring and releasing nearly lost classics, as well as new foreign and independent fare, Dennis Doros and Amy Heller's Milestone Films will launch the Oscilloscope DVD deal with the upcoming release of Kent Mackenzie's "The Exiles."
Likeminded insiders at both Oscilloscope and Milestone are touting the deal as an ideal union, saying that each company passionately focuses on artier films.
In the wake of the demise of the venerable New Yorker Films, Doros and Heller searched long and hard to find a new DVD home for their movies. Adam Yauch's Oscilloscope, Doros told indieWIRE, stood head and shoulders above the ten to fifteen other companies they considered working with.
Citing, "the energy, the optimism and the enthusiasm" of the Oscilloscope team, Doros added, "We really think that if we bring out the best films we are going to do [well] and they feel the same way, that if you spend time and energy and talent on it you'll do well."
"We're very similar companies," O-Scope's David Fenkel told indieWIRE, "We're driven by the love of films."
Milestone has found success with an array of classics, ranging from Charles Burnett's "Killer of Sheep," Mikhail Kalatozov's "I Am Cuba," Marcel Ophuls' "The Sorrow and the Pity" and Alfred Hitchcock's "Bon Voyage" and "Aventure Malgache."
O-Scope head Adam Yauch commented, in a statement, "The Milestone team does amazing work. Clearly they care deeply about the films they choose to release, and how they release them. And to be quite frank, I'm a little envious that they beat us to the punch on, 'I Am Cuba'."
Mackenzie’s "The Exiles, the 1961 story of a day in the life of twenty-something Native Americans who move from the reservation to the city, will be released on DVD in November. Also upcoming is the landmark 1978 queer documentary "Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives."
For Oscilloscope, the move signifies an expansion into a great number of direct DVD releases. Fenkel told indieWIRE that Oscilloscope is aiming to acquire 5 - 10 films a year for DVD. For movies that he and his colleagues like, but might not fit a traditional theatrical model, they will rely more on non-theatrical books, film festivals and the DVD release.
"There are very few companies that consistently just release films that the owners love," Oscilloscope's Fenkel reiterated.