Oscilloscope acquires Michel Gondry doc

'Thorn in the Heart' played as special Cannes screening

Startup distributor Oscilloscope is finding some eternal sunshine.

The company has scooped up North American rights to Michel Gondry's new project, a documentary called "The Thorn in the Heart" that played the recently wrapped Festival de Cannes.

The film, which played as a special screening in Cannes, is a passion project for the director. Titled "L'Epine dans le Coeur" in French, the French- and English-language pic centers on schoolteacher Suzette Gondry, the director's aunt and matriarch of his family, and her relationship with her son.

In the process it tells both a personal tale of one family's secrets and a larger story of life in rural France. Partizan Films produced and financed the pic.

Oscilloscope's co-founder, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, called the title "a sincere doc on a subject that is so close to (Gondry's) heart."

The company will release theatrically as well as on DVD and via digital platforms.

Gondry, known most prominently for Charlie Kaufman collaboration "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind," most recently directed Jack Black comedy "Be Kind Rewind" and is set to helm Seth Rogen superhero tale "The Green Hornet" for Columbia.

Oscilloscope has been beefing up its theatrical slate, having acquired the custody-drama doc "Dear Zachary" and political nonfiction tale "Burma VJ" in recent months. The deal marks the second consecutive year it has made a Cannes pickup; last year it bought Kelly Reichardt's Michelle Williams-starrer, which was a critical and awards-season favorite.

With the acquisition, a third company has now entered the Cannes fray -- IFC and Sony Pictures Classics had previously each bought several pics that played the festival. A number of titles are expected to close deals in the coming weeks, including Heath Ledger's last pic, "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus."

CAA repped the filmmakers in the sale, while Oscilloscope exec David Fenkel negotiated on behalf of the distributor.
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