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Film Acquisition Rundown: Oscilloscope Buys ‘Contemporary Color,’ Abramorama Picks Up ‘Newtown’ And More

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that's been picked up around the globe.

“Contemporary Color”

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.

– Oscilloscope Laboratories has announced that it has acquired North American rights to Bill Ross and Turner Ross’s latest documentary featuring and produced by David Byrne, “Contemporary Color.” The film premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won awards for Best Documentary Cinematography and Best Documentary Editing.

The film’s camera operators included many well-known documentary directors and cinematographers, including Jarred Alterman, Sean Price Williams, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, Jessica Oreck, Wyatt Garfield and Michael Palmieri. Oscilloscope will release the film in theaters in 2017 followed by a release across all ancillary platforms.

– Abramorama has acquired U.S. theatrical rights to Kim A. Snyder’s powerful documentary “Newtown,” which was produced by ITVS, while The Orchard will handle TV, excluding PBS, and all home entertainment in North America. Produced by Maria Cuomo Cole and filmed over the course of nearly three years, the film uses unique access and never-before-heard testimonies to tell a story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history, chronicling how all of a small town’s residents have been altered forever.

The film premiered to enormous acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and just made its New York festival premiere this month at BAMCinemaFest. Abramorama will open “Newtown” in theaters in October, after which it will air on PBS in early 2017.



– Grasshopper Film has announced the acquisition of all U.S. distribution rights to Oliver Laxe’s new film “Mimosas,” “a breathtakingly-shot Western that follows a mysterious caravan carrying a dying sheikh into the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.” Recent Grasshopper releases include Hong Sangsoo’s “Right Now, Wrong Then,” Bi Gan’s “Kaili Blues,” Thom Andersen’s “The Thoughts That Once We had” and Asghar Farhadi’s “Fireworks Wednesday.” Laxe’s film, the inner of the Critics Week Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, will open in theaters this winter.

– Eleven Arts and Toei Animation will release the English language version of “Digimon Adventure tri. – Chapter 1: Reunion” in the States, thanks to both a special one-night only event and a full release. The film is the first English language feature film in the wildly popular series, which has not yet been released to American audiences. This release marks the first ‘Digimon’ English film to be released in the US since 2000 and has delighted audiences in its native Japan. The movie will get a one-night Fathom Events screening in 300+ US movie theaters on September 15 followed by a traditional multi-city national theatrical release in major cities.

– Cinema Guild has picked up all U.S. distribution rights to Josie Swantek Heitz’s and Dave Adams’s powerful documentary “The Wrong Light.” Produced by Shine Global, the Academy- Award winning non-profit production company behind “Inocente” and Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner “War/ Dance,” “The Wrong Light” will be released theatrically this fall.

The film “tells the riveting story of a charismatic activist who leads a globally-regarded anti-trafficking NGO in Northern Thailand that provides shelter and education to young girls rescued from brothels. But as the filmmakers embed themselves at the shelter and meet the young girls and their families, discrepancies begin to emerge. As the filmmakers embark in a quest for the truth while keeping the girls safe, the heroic tale takes a shocking turn and uncovers a dark side of child advocacy behind the trafficking headlines.”



– Gravitas Ventures has secured all worldwide rights to “Better Off Single,” a New York City dating comedy that follows one man’s hallucination-fueled, post-breakup quest to find new love and himself. The new film, writer and director Benjamin Cox’s feature, debut stars Aaron Tveit, Abby Elliott, Lauren Miller Rogen, and Kal Penn. The indie rom-com hit theaters and On Demand on October 7. 

– Long Shot Factory, Tugg and Film Sprout have announced that they will partner to release “Generation Startup,” a new documentary that follows six young entrepreneurs over the course of a year as they struggle to launch their ventures in Detroit. The film “takes us to the front lines of entrepreneurship in America, capturing the struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who put everything on the line to build startups in Detroit. Shot over 17 months, it’s an honest, in-the-trenches look at what it takes to launch a startup. The film celebrates risk-taking, urban revitalization, and diversity while delivering a vital call-to-action — with entrepreneurship at a record low, the country’s economic future is at stake.”

The film was just announced as part of the lineup at the upcoming Traverse City Film Festival in Northern Michigan, where it will have its World Premiere on July 31. Its theatrical run will kick off at New York City’s IFC Center on September 23, followed by theatrical runs in Los Angeles and Detroit.

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