American Experience will host a premiere broadcast of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival Closing Night Film, Earth Days, from acclaimed documentarian Robert Stone on Facebook Platform. The 102-minute film honors the origins of the first Earth Day, which took place 40 years ago this April. The online screening, scheduled for Sunday, April 11 at 8:00 p.m ET, represents the first time a major broadcaster has premiered a full-length documentary on Facebook Platform ahead of its national broadcast. Earth Days is scheduled on the PBS series American Experience on Monday, April 19 at 9 p.m.
Earth Days will premiere on Earth Days’ Facebook Page utilizing the Social Screening Application created by Brand Networks, a Boston-based Social Solutions company. Leveraging a proprietary video player, an integrated poll and the Facebook Comment Box, participants will be able to view Earth Days in its entirety while interacting with friends, other participants-and with filmmaker Robert Stone and American Experience Executive Producer Mark Samels in real-time.
“When we participate at film festivals and preview events around the country, audiences have unique opportunities to interact with filmmakers, ask questions and discuss their work, but these events are not always accessible to everyone,” said Samels. “We want to bring that experience to our fans and make it possible for anyone with an internet connection to join us in the national dialogue surrounding the past, present and future of the environmental movement.”
Earth Days spotlights the amazing changes that have occurred in the eco-movement in the last four decades. Just as there was no Internet or Facebook, 40 years ago there was no EPA. Ninety percent of America’s rivers were heavily contaminated with industrial pollution, agricultural run off, and human waste. Breathing the air in Los Angeles was equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Dangerous pesticides, such as DDT, had brought the American Bald Eagle-the nation’s symbol-to the brink of extinction. National concern about the environment crystallized on April 22, 1970, when 20 million Americans from all walks of life-ten percent of the US population-mobilized in a dramatic show of support for a cleaner environment.
Leading up to the screening on April 11, American Experience will expand the Earth Days Facebook page with new applications and content such as quizzes, polls, “gift” buttons, and preview videos. A campaign utilizing Facebook’s Engagement Ads will drive awareness of and RSVP’s to the screening Event.
“We are thrilled to help American Experience concept and power this innovative program with our Social Screening application and other engaging tools from our Tab Application Suite,” says Brand Networks’ CEO Jamie Tedford. ” The powerful message and images of Earth Days are perfectly suited for a social viewing experience. Amplifying the voices of event participants through Facebook Platform gives new meaning to “social media” and will demonstrate its ability to create real change.”
Photo credit: John Sotomayor/The New York Times/Redux