Oscilloscope Picks Up SXSW Doc About Baltimore Dirt Bikers

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Lofty Nathan explores the unconventional world of Baltimore dirt bike gangs in "12 O'Clock Boys"

Oscilloscope Laboratories has picked up North American distribution rights to “12 O’Clock Boys,” Lofty Nathan’s documentary about dirt-bike riders in Baltimore, the independent distributor announced on Tuesday.

The film, which premiered earlier this month at the South by Southwest Film Festival, earned high praise. Indiewire’s Eric Kohn, for one, described the movie as “an ode to an outlaw sport few viewers may know much about” that “laments the perilous extremes to which its brash stars are drawn.” 

Nathan spent the past four years working on the film, getting to know the various characters from this group of daredevils. They are at once the bane of the Baltimore police and a haven for lost young teens.

Nathan tells the story through Pug, a kid who wants to join the eponymous clique.

“Lotfy has introduced us to a world so compelling, so foreign and so relatable all at once,” Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger said in a statement. “It’s a portrait of a subculture as much as a window into the state of America, and it’s all in the guise of ‘The Wire’ by way of ‘Cirque du Soleil.’ It’s seriously like nothing you’ve seen before.”

Nathan opted for humor in his statement: “Oscilloscope's great. I really hope they don't f*&k this up."