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by Peter Knegt
March 25, 2010 3:13 AM
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Oscilloscope Takes "Maid" DVD Rights In Continuing Trend

Oscilloscope Laboratories has announced that they have acquired the DVD rights to Sebastian Silva's Sundance winner and Golden Globe-nominated "The Maid." The film received theatrical release through Elephant Eye Films, grossing $553,909 in its domestic release.

"I saw 'The Maid' at Sundance in 2009 and loved it," Adam Yauch, head of Oscilloscope, told indieWIRE. "It's exactly the kind of film that we want to help get out there."

The acquisition marks another example of Oscilloscope buying DVD rights to films for which they didn't have the theatrical rights. Recently, the company took DVD rights for Aaron Rose and Joshua Leonard's art doc "Beautiful Losers," Spike Jonze's "Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak," and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi's doc "Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love." Paying particular attention to the packaging of the DVDs and forming strategic relationships with Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble, Oscilloscope has become an interesting alternative for indie filmmakers in the shifting world of post-theatrical.

"We all loved 'The Maid' when we saw it at Sundance last year," co-founder of Oscilloscope Laboratories David Fenkel told indieWIRE. "And the fact that it had such a successful theatrical run via our friends at Elephant Eye makes the partnership all the more special. It's the kind of creative, award-winning film that our retailers, wholesalers, VOD and digital partners have come to expect from Oscilloscope."

Fenkel said that in this changing retail environment, "it's important to work with the big box retailers and rentailers, as well as niche companies like Urban Outfitters and Whole Foods, to name a few." Oscilloscope's DVD partners "are responding to our unique packaging and expect great indie films from us every month," he said.

These developments come amidst promising additional news for the company. With last fall's "The Messenger," it found its first $1 million theatrical grosser and two major Academy Award nominations. Interviewed by indieWIRE amidst awards season, Yauch discussed hopes for the company's future.

"We don't really have a five year plan," he said. "We'd be lucky to have a one year plan. But basically our plan is to continue to go out and find films that we like and resonate with us for whatever reason... And it'd be great if we can ramp up and get to the point where we can find wider and wider audiences."

Meanwhile, the company has set a June 22nd street date for Chilean-set "The Maid," which stars Catalina Saavedra in a performance that won her a Gotham Award. Director Silva told indieWIRE he was excited because Oscilloscope's "sensibility is centered around bringing out the most artistic, beautiful and unique ways of expressing the mood and power of a film through their packaging and design."

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