One of the high-profile Fantasia deal announcements, the pick-up, brokered with Yellow Veil Pictures, will see Oscilloscope open “Stanleyville” in U.S. theaters this Winter.
“Stanleyville” marks the feature film debut of Canadian actor-turned-director Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, who has appeared in a slew of movies and TV series, including “Antibirth,” “Lars and the Real Girl,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “Tin Star.”
Directed by Bruce McDonald, McCabe-Lokos’ first feature screenplay, “The Husband,” which he starred in, premiered at Toronto 2013. His directorial debut, 2016 short “Ape Sodom,” and 2017 short “Midnight Confession” were also both selected for Toronto.
Written by McCabe-Lokos and Rob Benvie, who also took a co-scribe credit on “Midnight Confession,” “Stanleyville” brings McCabe-Lokos’ satirical vision of the state of the modern world to a fable turning on prim and proper Maria Barbizan (Wuest) who one day walks away from her boring job, her layabout husband, and her obnoxious daughter.
She’s approached by a stranger in a shopping mall who claims she’s been chosen among hundreds of millions to take part in a competition which promises the “ferocity of true primal conflict.” The winner drives away in a slightly used habanero-orange compact sport utility vehicle.
So it proves, as “Stanleyville’s” contest unspools between a motley crew of contestants. It exposes, with building savagery and a frequent sense of humor, the transcendent status of consumerist culture and, in particular, what people will do to get a complex versatility vehicle, international import.
“Stanleyville” was produced by Hayley Brown.
“It’s extremely encouraging to know that this totally righteous but freakazoid movie was not made in vain, and that it’s being handled by a distributor who knows how to raise ugly children,” the director joked.
“O-Scope enters a competition seeking enlightenment; all it got was this weird-ass dark comedy ‘Stanleyville,'” Oscilloscope mock protested on Monday, announcing the deal.
Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger said: “As someone who wants to f— off to the country every day, I was really able to relate to Maria’s situation. And as someone who ravenously loves habanero-orange colored SUVs, I would join this contest in a heartbeat,” calling the movie “assured and funny.”
The Oscilloscope deal was negotiated by Hugues Barbier, Justin Timms and Joe Yanick on behalf of Yellow Veil Pictures and Berger and Aaron Katz for Oscilloscope.
Of titles at July’s Cannes Festival, Oscilloscope bought Marie Amiguet’s doc-feature “The Velvet Queen,” which played Cinema for Climate, as well as two Directors’ Fortnight titles: “The Tale of King Crab,” from Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis, and Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s “Clara Sola,” another story of a woman rebelling against domestic drudgery.
Titles illustrate the eclectic tastes of Oscilloscope, a production-distribution outfit founded in 2008 by Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch.
Launching out of Fantasia’s 2018 Frontières market with Tilman Singer’s debut “Luz,” New York and Los Angeles-based worldwide sales and distribution company Yellow Veil Pictures specializes in what it describes as ”boundary pushing genre cinema.”
It also seeks to highlight emerging filmmakers who exist on the cusp of commercial, arthouse cinema, such as McCabe-Lokos. Sales slate titles take in Larry Fessenden’s “Depraved,” Rob Grant’s “Harpoon,” Joel Potrykus’s “Relaxer,” and Toby Poser, Zelda Adams and John Adams’s “Hellbender.”
The Fantasia Intl. Film Festival runs Aug. 5-25.