Back to IndieWire

Oscilloscope Acquires Sundance Doc “If a Tree Falls”

Oscilloscope Acquires Sundance Doc "If a Tree Falls"

Marshall Curry’s “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front,” which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, has been picked for U.S. release by Oscilloscope Laboratories. The doc – which tells the story of the rise and fall of an ELF cell, as told through the transformation and radicalization of one of its members – will be released theatrically in June, followed by DVD and digital platforms.

Full press release below.

New York, NY (April 11th, 2011) – Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to Marshall Curry’s critically acclaimed documentary IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT, the remarkable story of the rise and fall of an ELF cell, as told through the transformation and radicalization of one of its members. O-scope will release the film theatrically this June, followed by DVD, digital platforms and non-theatrical screenings in the fall.

In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front– a group the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.” Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thriller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic investigation into the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way, it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.

IF A TREE FALLS premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the Documentary Editing Award. It includes songs by The National, Caribou, The Black Keys, Rage Against the Machine, Danny Elfman, and James Baxter. Curry is the Academy Award(R)-nominated filmmaker of STREET FIGHT and RACING DREAMS.

Of the acquisition, Curry said, “To be honest, I didn’t know much about Oscilloscope before they contacted me about distributing IF A TREE FALLS. But when I heard they were run by one of the Backstreet Boys, I knew my little sister would never forgive me if I said no.”

Adam Yauch, head of O-Scope said, “Dear Marshall, the reunion tour has been amazing. So nice to finally have Backstreet and *nsync back together again doing it for the fans. Maybe you and your sister can come up on stage and sing one of our multi-platinum hit songs with us. Sky page me if you are avail.”

The film was executive produced by Stephen Bannatyne; cinematographer/co-director Sam Cullman; edited by Matthew Hamachek and Curry. It is a co-production of Marshall Curry Productions and ITVS, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in association with Lucky Hat, American Documentary (POV), and the BBC. Supported by Creative Capital, Gucci/Tribeca Documentary Fund, Cinereach, and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.

About Oscilloscope Laboratories

Oscilloscope Laboratories is a film production and theatrical distribution entity launched in 2008 by Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys. Yauch modeled the company after the indie record labels he grew up around, selecting and marketing films with the same artistic integrity with which they were made. The company, which is an extension of Yauch’s recording studio of the same name, has an in-house DVD distribution and production arm, and its paper packaging is reminiscent of the heyday of LP record jackets. All of the company’s plastic-free DVD packaging is printed on FSC Certified 80% post-consumer waste paper and produced in a carbon-neutral hydroelectric plant.

Other Oscilloscope theatrical releases include Yauch’s GUNNIN’ FOR THAT #1 SPOT, Irena Salina’s FLOW, Kelly Reichardt’s WENDY AND LUCY starring Michelle Williams, So Yong Kim’s TREELESS MOUNTAIN, the Academy Award(R)-nominated THE GARDEN from Scott Hamilton Kennedy, Anders Ostergaard’s Academy Award(R)-nominated BURMA VJ, Nati Baratz’s UNMISTAKEN CHILD, Oren Moverman’s Academy-Award(R)-nominated THE MESSENGER starring Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, and Samantha Morton, Henrik Ruben Genz’s Danish thriller TERRIBLY HAPPY, Michel Gondry’s personal family documentary THE THORN IN THE HEART, Jules Dassin’s classic THE LAW, Yael Hersonski’s award-winning WWII documentary A FILM UNFINISHED, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s HOWL starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, Jalmari Helander’s Christmas fantasy RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE and Oscar(R)-nominated director Dana Adam Shapiro’s feature film debut MONOGAMY starring Chris Messina and Rashida Jones. Upcoming releases include Kelly Reichardt’s Western drama MEEK’S CUTOFF starring Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, and Shirley Henderson, and James Franco’s directorial debut SATURDAY NIGHT, which covers a week on the set of Saturday N

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox