Spaceship Earth trailer

Director Matt Wolf‘s documentary Spaceship Earth, which focuses on eight people who lived inside a self-engineered biosphere in the early 1990s, was picked up by Neon and the distributor will be releasing it online in about two and a half weeks – but this release won’t be quite like any other you’ve experienced before. In addition to drive-ins and quarantine-friendly pop-up locations, you’ll be able to watch Spaceship Earth on websites of businesses that have previously had nothing to do with film exhibition, like museums, bookstores, and even restaurants. Get the details below.

Spaceship Earth Trailer

A film about a group of people who are stuck inside for two years is awfully timely right now, but Wolf obviously had no idea just how prescient it would be when he was putting the project together. “While making this film, I never could have imagined that a pandemic would require the entire world to be quarantined,” he said in a statement. “In light of COVID-19, we are all living like biospherians, and we too will reenter a new world. The question is how will we be transformed? Now with a visceral sense of the fragility of our world, it’s on us to protect it.”

Here’s the official synopsis:

Spaceship Earth is the true, stranger-than-fiction, adventure of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called BIOSPHERE 2. 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. The bizarre story is both a cautionary tale and a hopeful lesson of how a small group of dreamers can potentially reimagine a new world.

An Innovative Release Strategy

Neon (which has been absolutely killing it lately with movies like Parasite and Portrait of a Lady on Fire) is putting Spaceship Earth in participating drive-in theaters as well as “select pop-up city-scape projections (safely accessible by quarantined city dwellers).” But the most interesting aspect of the release is the special arrangement the distributor has made to get it seen by the widest audience possible in these times: they’re launching it on theater websites and websites of other affected businesses interested in participating, like film festivals, museums, bookstores, restaurants, and more. And that’s in addition to a more traditional digital rollout, because the movie will also be available on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, FandangoNow, Vudu, DIRECTV, DISH, and Hulu.

But wouldn’t you rather watch it on a restaurant website, just because you can? Here’s some more info about this unconventional rollout:

NEON’s release strategy was devised as a way to address the current limitations of the theatrical experience with the aim of bringing communities and cinephiles together and help support organizations and businesses in need. Allowing independent movie theaters, museums, book stores, arts and cultural organizations, non-profits, restaurants and other severely impacted small businesses to participate in the release will give them the opportunity to stay connected with their community and hopefully provide some much-needed financial support. Additionally, partners will have the option to host private screenings and/or to co-host live online Q&As and panels with filmmakers, film subjects and special guests. A partial list of non-traditional partners 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. Other small businesses and organizations in the US interested in partnering with NEON can learn more and sign-up at www.NEONrated.com.

Spaceship Earth launches everywhere on May 8, 2020.

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