Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North America distribution rights to “I’m Not There” screenwriter Oren Moverman’s directorial debut, “The Messenger,” co-written by Moverman and Alessandro Camon. The film had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and won the Silver Bear award for Best Screenplay and the Peace Film Award at the 2009 Berlinale Film Festival. Oscilloscope will release the film in theaters in November 2009, noting that they will do so “in connection with awards campaigns for actors Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, director Oren Moverman and co-writer Alessandro Camon.”
“‘The Messenger’ was made by a group of dedicated professionals who brought a lot of love and passion to it,” Oren Moverman said in a statement. “That’s exactly what Oscilloscope is now infusing in droves into the life of this film–dedication, professionalism, and a lot of heart. We couldn’t be happier with this union and we are certain we’ve found the right combination.”
The film stars Foster stars as Will Montgomery, a U.S. Army officer who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq and is assigned to the Army’s Casualty Notification service. Partnered with fellow officer Tony Stone (Harrelson) to bear the bad news to the loved ones of fallen soldiers, Will faces the challenge of completing his mission while seeking to find comfort and healing back on the home front. When he finds himself drawn to Olivia (Morton), to whom he has just delivered the news of her husband’s death, Will’s emotional detachment begins to dissolve.
“This is an amazing directorial debut,” Adam Yauch, head of Oscilloscope Laboratories said in a statement. “Oren has created a film that is so sincere that I believe war protesters, as well as those who are in the military, will identify with it. Both Woody and Ben are incredible, giving performances that blew me away.”
The film was produced by Lawrence Inglee, Mark Gordon and Zach Miller, and was financed by Omnilab Media, Sherezade Films and BZ Entertainment.