Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Oscilloscope may have the weekend’s biggest Specialty newcomer with 12 O’Clock Boys. The SXSW competition feature was a hit with audiences at the Austin, TX festival and played well there. It will have a fairly sizable opening for a documentary Friday. Anchor Bay’s At Middleton will play over a dozen runs. The Seattle International Film Festival premiere stars Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga in the romantic comedy. Other roll outs will be much more niche with First Run’s Peter Brook: The Tightrope targeting a New York theater/actor audience. Magnet’s Best Night Ever is an Ultra-VOD release that will have only one run outside the major markets before adding some playdates in the coming weeks.
Documentary 12 O’Clock Boys was an in-demand choice at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival where it premiered in competition. The feature is a stylish look at the 12 O’Clock Boys, a group of teens from West Baltimore who illegally ride their bikes en masse through the streets. The film follows story of impressionable young Pug, who aspires to join them. “I hired [director] Lotfy Nathan based on a short film he did,” said producer Eric Blair of Mission Film. “The short film did not have the same characters. I asked him to continue shooting footage and see about turning it into a feature.” Blair also grew up in the neighborhoods where he saw the 12 O’Clock Boys ride. Blair was aware of their mantra “living free by riding free” and used that as inspiration to inject lush slow-motion scenes into Nathan’s feature.