‘The Outsider’ 9/11 Documentary To Be Facebook’s First Paid Global Film Premiere; Debuts Today

Feature documentary The Outsider from Abramorama will become Facebook’s first paid online movie premiere by a major distributor today when the social media giant releases it at 8 pm ET with a ticket price of $3.99.

Facebook’s global users will have a 48-hour window to watch the debut of the film – directed and produced by Pamela Yoder and Steven Rosenbaum (7 Days In September, Overcome) — followed by a panel discussion. It will be available to exhibitors tomorrow, August 20, and via TVOD (transactional video on demand) through Giant Pictures in September ahead the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

According to event’s FB site, 2.9K are “interested” and 179 are “going.” Live paid online event attendance changes most frequently just prior to the event. “We have no idea what to expect, as this is the first time ever that anyone has done this,” Abramorama COO and partner Karol Martesko-Fenster tells Deadline.

(Facebook reported almost 1.9 billion daily active users and 2.89 billion monthly active users at the end of the June quarter.)

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He noted and FB confirmed that in this case, and generally with rare exceptions, Apple and Google don’t collect revenue share on paid online event purchases.

The Outsider depicts the battle that overwhelmed the team working to curate, construct, and build the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan. Yoder and Rosenbaum spent twenty years documenting the 9/11 story and are considered among the world’s foremost archivists of the event.

Specifically, the film follows the the museum’s creative director Michael Shulan from the day of 9/11through opening day in 2014.

“Ever since 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,” said Martesko-Fenster.

Recent Facebook Live events include preseason friendly matches by premiere league clubs Wolverhampton, which hosted 6 events, and Liverpool, which did a dedicated stream for Thailand, and cooking classes by chef Marion Grasby. Bang Productions will host a hybrid comedy show both in person and online at the end of the month.

One potential limitation with film is that Facebook’s overall deals with rights organizations don’t currently cover its paid online events, Hosts must bring all music rights involved in the content, including public performance rights.

“We are excited to see a distributor like Abramorama choose to premiere their new documentary through Paid Online Events on Facebook,” said a FB rep.

The Outsider is a Magnify Media Production of a Rosenbaum/Yoder Film. Executive Producers Michael Cascio, Joe Cantwell, Karol Martesko-Fenster, Rosenbaum, Evan Shapiro and Yoder. Edited by Poull Brian. Music by Aaron James Eckardt and Daniel Stockdale. Associate Producer Bridget Machete. Cinematographers Adam LaPalio, Kevin Surgener, Selene Preston, Jeffrey Packard, Pamela Mendoza, Hugh Lawson, James Silverman, DP. Written by Steven Rosenbaum and Bob Garfield.

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