School may be out for the summer, but documentaries about teens may become a hot topic anyway. Nanette Burstein's American Teen, focusing on seniors at a small town in Indiana, was a smash at Sundance and will hit theaters on July 25. Caroline Suh's Frontrunners, about four teens running for elective office at a prestigious high school in New York City, had its world premiere at South by Southwest and has just been picked up for distribution by Oscilloscope Pictures, according to indieWIRE.
Distributor Paramount Vantage has been promoting American Teen like crazy over the past couple of months, so marketing Frontrunners as something different and worthwhile will be the challenge for Oscilloscope, which is the distribution arm of Oscilloscope Laboratories. The company was founded by Adam Yauch, who's best known as one of the Beastie Boys. Frontrunners will be just their third release (after Gunning For That #1 Spot and Flow); Yauch said in a statement: "I was taken by its Rushmore meets Spellbound meets Election quality."
Frontrunners will open at New York's Film Forum on October 15, well-timed to capitalize on election fever, followed by a national theatrical release before hitting DVD next year. Kim Voynar saw the film at SXSW and compared it unfavorably with American Teen, though she says she enjoyed the film overall despite her frustrations. We'll see how audiences react in three months. Until then, the official site has a trailer and more information.