SXSW Thriller ‘Uncle John’ Lands At FilmBuff; Oscilloscope Embraces Cannes Winner ‘Embrace Of The Serpent’

FilmBuff announced today it licensed worldwide rights to Uncle John, the dramatic thriller co-written and directed by cinematographer and first-time helmer Steven Piet that had its world premiere this year at SXSW. John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop, Gone Baby Gone) stars. The plan is to open the pic in select theaters nationwide September 18 day-and-day with on-demand platforms.

In the pic, a small-town bully turned born-again Christian named Dutch has gone missing, and John, a well-liked and respectable member of the community, has more to with the disappearance than anyone could imagine. Nobody in town would think to implicate John except for Danny, Dutch’s violent drunk of a brother. John’s nephew Ben arrives from Chicago on an impromptu trip to his hometown as his uncle struggles to evade Danny’s growing suspicions and looming threats. In this tale of small-town intrigue, one man’s need for revenge may cost many more their lives. Alex Moffat, Jenna Lyng and Ronnie Gene Blevins co-star.

Piet co-wrote the script with Erik Crary via their indie outfit Witness. Crary produced with Gary Jesdanun. The deal was negotiated by Sam Scupp of FilmBuff, and Bill Straus of BGP Films repping the filmmakers. Piet and Crary are managed by Jewerl Ross.

Embrace Of The SerpentOscilloscope Laboratories has acquired U.S. rights to Embrace Of The Serpent, the winner of this year’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight from Colombian writer-director Ciro Guerra. It marks the first feature shot in the Colombian Amazon in 30 years. A theatrical release is eyed for early 2016.

Filmed in black-and-white, Serpent centers on Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant.

Said Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger: “Embrace Of The Serpent is the epitome of the type of discovery we hope to find at Cannes each year: a brilliantly assured and deftly told story that feels simultaneously classic and new — and all accomplished with such visual splendor.”

The deal was negotiated by Films Boutique on behalf of the filmmakers. Guerra is repped by Paradigm and attorney Marios Rush.

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