Estonian Folk Tale ‘November’ Acquired By Oscilloscope – Tribeca

Gabriela Liivamägi

Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights to November, the Rainer Sarnet-directed drama based on Estonian folklore that is having its international premiere this evening at the Tribeca Film Festival. A 2017 theatrical release is planned for the black-and-white pic.

Based on Andrus Kivirähk’s novel Rehepapp, the film is set in 19th century Estonia, where peasant girl Liina longs for village boy Hans, but Hans inexplicably is infatuated by the visiting German baroness who possesses all that he longs for. For Liina, winning Hans’ requited love proves incredibly complicated in this dark, harsh landscape where spirits, werewolves, plagues and the devil himself converge — and where souls are highly regarded but come quite cheap.

Katrin Kissa from Estonia’s Homeless Bob Production (Estonia) produced. Ellen Havenith from PRPL (The Netherlands) and Łukasz Dzięcioł from Opus Film (Poland) are co-producers.

“I was afraid our story would be too specific to the self-irony intrinsic to Estonians,” Sarnet said. “But I don’t think it is news to anyone that we have all been living in a time similar to the one in our film — a pragmatic world that is driven by greed. Together, we look for a way out, for something beautiful to feed our souls. For it is one and the same longing that lives deep in the souls of old-time Estonians and modern-day Americans.”

Said Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger: “November is one of the most unique and stunning films to come along in some time. It’s equal measures beautiful love story and balls-to-wall bonkers-ass folk tale. It keeps you rapt, guessing and intrigued from its first frame to its last.”

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