Facebook will host its first paid film premiere later this month: “The Outsider,” a documentary about the challenges and controversies involved in building the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan, will screen exclusively on the platform on Aug. 19.
While Facebook has livestreamed free events in the past, this will be the first time a film has premiered on the platform. For now, however, the one-off screening of “The Outsider” — to be available on Facebook for just 12 hours — doesn’t herald the social giant’s emergence as a major new player in the entertainment industry’s streaming wars.
Abramorama, the indie film distributor that bought global distribution rights to the film, on Monday announced details of the Facebook screening, which Axios reported on today.
The exclusive Facebook premiere of “The Outsider” will be available to screen globally, available at this link, starting Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. ET until Aug. 20 at 8 a.m. ET. Tickets are $3.99 and include access to a panel discussion that will follow the film’s premiere.
“Ever since [launching] our first live programming on Facebook in early 2019, we have been looking forward to premiering a ticketed long-form documentary globally on the platform and are thrilled to launch with a film centered around one of the most important historical markers of our century,” Abramorama COO and partner Karol Martesko-Fenster said.
Following the Facebook livestreaming premiere on Aug. 19, “The Outsider” will launch nationwide on Aug. 20 through Abramorama’s Watch Now @ Home Cinema Release. In early September, the film is slated to play in select theaters and on video-on-demand.
The film’s directors Pamela Yoder and Steven Rosenbaum, the team behind “7 Days In September” and “Overcome,” spent 20 years archiving and documenting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “The Outsider” promises never-before-seen footage collected over eight years, following the journey of the museum’s creative director Michael Shulan from the attacks on 9/11 to the building’s opening in 2014. During that time, the filmmakers were given unlimited access to the site, closed meetings and senior staff.
“The Outsider” also features interviews with the team that brought the museum to life, including its director Alice Greenwald, VP of design and construction Lou Mendes, the lead exhibit designer Tom Hennes, chief curator Jan Ramirez, VP of operations Amy Weiser and the Washington Post’s architecture critic Philip Kenniccot.
“When we set out to make this film, we knew our audience would reach around the world,” co-directors Pamela Yoder and Steven Rosenbaum said in a statement. “The impact of 9/11 extends beyond borders — and the unanswered questions of the attacks on the World Trade Center leaves global citizens hungry for answers.”
About 30% of the 9/11 Museum’s 3.1 million annual visitors are from outside the U.S., and “That alone told us that we need to reach out beyond the borders of the United States to share this film with as wide a range of audiences as possible,” Yoder and Rosenbaum continued. “We’re proud of premiering our film on Facebook, and excited to be Abramorama’s first film distributed on the Facebook paid online event platform.”