'Heart' gets a jolt

Oscilloscope buys rights to Gondry family doc

Startup distributor Oscilloscope has scooped up North American rights to Michel Gondry's documentary "The Thorn in the Heart" that played at the Festival de Cannes.

The film, a selection in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, is a passion project for the director. Titled "L'epine dans le coeur," the French- and English-language pic centers on schoolteacher Suzette Gondry, the director's aunt and family matriarch, and her relationship with her son. Partizan Films produced and financed.

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 the film theatrically, on DVD and via digital platforms.

Gondry most recently directed the Jack Black comedy "Be Kind Rewind" and is set to helm the Seth Rogen superhero tale "The Green Hornet" for Columbia.

Oscilloscope has been beefing up its theatrical slate, acquiring 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 "Wendy and Lucy."

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

CAA repped the filmmakers in the "Heart" sale. Oscilloscope exec David Fenkel negotiated on behalf of the distributor. (partialdiff)