Parasite distributor NEON has set a May 8 U.S. launch date for well-received Sundance doc Spaceship Earth, about the group of people who built the Biosphere 2, a giant replica of the earth’s ecosystem, in 1991.
NEON says it will play the film at drive-ins, via pop-up city-scape projections, in non-traditional screening venues including restaurants and bookstores, and on a host of traditional digital platforms and theater websites.
Matt Wolf’s film follows the stranger-than-fiction adventure of eight men and women who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem. The experiment was a worldwide phenomenon, chronicling daily existence in the face of life-threatening ecological disaster and a growing criticism that it was
nothing more than a cult. Producers are Wolf and Stacey Reiss.
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A partial list of non-traditional releasing partners for the film includes Atlas Obscura, Earth Day Network, Books are Magic, the Explorers Club, Posteritati, Fernbank Museum, NYC Trivia League, Talcott Mountain Science Center, Ground Support Cafe, Explorers Club, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, SITE Sante Fe, Synergetic Press, City Growers, Bud Werner Memorial Library, Santa Monica French bistro Pasjoli and Brooklyn’s famous eatery Locanda Vinii & Olie.
While some of the above venues may still be closed in mid-May, the idea is that they will at least help market the movie to their audiences.
“NEON has never released a film without the benefit of theaters and Spaceship Earth is no exception to that rule,” said founder/CEO Tom Quinn.
Quinn continued, “As every day becomes a harsh, almost surreal, new reality, it’s clear we must continue launching new films and entertain audiences as best we can. It’s also important we innovate and adapt to support the many businesses in need. Even though Spaceship Earth won’t be playing in theaters across the country we hope by making it available ‘everywhere’ the film’s release can at least embody the communal spirit of cinema if not the big screen. We miss our partners in exhibition greatly and look forward to cinema’s triumphant return.”
NEON acquired world rights to the film. Details of the doc’s global release plans are set to be announced later this week.
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