Director Todd Douglas Miller captures momentous events with newly-discovered and restored archival footage from NASA and National Archives; CNN Film commemorates 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 mission
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‘APOLLO 11,’ director/producer Todd Douglas Miller’s epic feature documentary capturing the tense, exhilarating days and hours of humanity’s first landing on the moon will premiere for television on Sunday, June 23, at 9:00pm and 11:00pm on CNN, the network announced today. The film will encore Saturday, June 29 and Saturday, July 20, both days at 9:00pm, on CNN. All times Eastern.
Primarily comprised from newly-discovered 70mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of audio recordings, Miller and his team worked closely with the National Archives and NASA to locate, digitize, and restore all sources of material related to the Apollo 11 mission. The result, ‘APOLLO 11,’ offers viewers a singular, immersive experience of the original Apollo 11 mission, with unmatched image clarity and pristine sound.
Painstakingly constructed using only archival sources, the film captures this momentous event as it was experienced by the millions of people who lived it. From the transport of the Saturn V rocket to its launch pad, to the astronauts’ safe return to Earth, the film captures each aspect of the mission in a way that is both technically accurate and emotionally gripping. New footage of Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, and Michael Collins suited up on the morning of the launch, as well as flight controllers in Mission Control, provide an intimate view of the people working to achieve the goals of the mission, and what they risked to carry out one of humanity’s greatest achievements.
“We’re thrilled to be working with CNN Films again on this groundbreaking project. The response to the film so far has been overwhelming and we’re excited to share the experience of the Apollo 11 mission with CNN’s audience,” said director Todd Douglas Miller, founder of Statement Pictures.
In addition to Miller, ‘APOLLO 11’ is also produced by Thomas Petersen and Evan Krauss. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released in commercial IMAX® and traditional theaters by Neon in March. The film is now among the top 31 documentaries of all time in North American box office performance. Beginning May 17, a giant screen version of the film, ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition,’ will be distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films to museums and science centers (https://apollo11firststeps.com).
‘APOLLO 11’ and ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’ are the result of more than two years of collaboration between Miller’s Statement Pictures and CNN Films, and marks the third collaboration between CNN Films and Miller. Previously, CNN Films acquired Miller’s Dinosaur 13 at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival for domestic telecast on CNN; the broadcast won a News & Documentary Emmy®. More recently, CNN Films and Miller produced the documentary short, THE LAST STEPS, about the final NASA lunar mission, Apollo 17. THE LAST STEPS was distributed by Great Big Story.
“We approached Todd for this film because of his exceptional vision, but ‘APOLLO 11’ has surpassed even our highest expectations. Todd’s work has now become a part of the history of the moon mission. The film restores the grand adventure as it was originally experienced by those who lived it and observed it all over the world,” said Courtney Sexton, vice president for CNN Films, and Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, both executive producers for the film. “We hope future generations will be thrilled by this exceptional film experience in each of its forms.”
Matt Morton, the composer of the soaring, synth-driven original score, has recorded his soundtrack for the film. Milan Records will release the CD of the soundtrack, ‘APOLLO 11,’ on Friday, June 28; a vinyl edition will be released by Milan Records on Friday, July 19, 2019.
Beginning in June, CNN Films will also release a limited podcast series about the Apollo 11 lunar mission, women and the space program, and the future of space exploration. During the June 23 premiere on CNN, ‘APOLLO 11’ will stream live for subscribers via CNNgo (www.CNN.com/go and via CNNgo apps for AppleTV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Samsung Smart TV, and Android TV) and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android. The film will be available beginning Monday, June 24, on demand via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms, and CNN mobile apps.
About Statement Pictures
Statement Pictures LLC was formed in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY to produce independent feature-length motion picture films and visual content. It is co-owned by filmmakers Todd Douglas Miller and Thomas Petersen. The company’s first feature film, Dinosaur 13, premiered on opening night at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Lionsgate and CNN Films for theatrical and broadcast exhibition, winning an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Science and Technology Programming. The company has numerous independent feature-length films in various stages of production and development and is actively engaged in the production of large format films that target museums and science centers worldwide.
About CNN Films
CNN Films produces and acquires documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees the strategy for CNN Films; Courtney Sexton, vice president for CNN Films, works day-to-day with filmmakers to oversee projects. For more information about CNN Films, please visit www.CNN.com/CNNFilms and follow @CNNFilms via Twitter. Recent acclaimed CNN Films include RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen; LOVE, GILDA, directed by Lisa D’Apolito; American Jail, directed by Roger Ross Williams; Three Identical Strangers, directed by Tim Wardle; and APOLLO 11, directed by Todd Douglas Miller, which is currently in theaters.
About MacGillivray Freeman Films
MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s foremost independent producer and distributor of giant-screen 70mm films with more than 40 films for IMAX and giant-screen theatres to its credit. Throughout the company’s 50-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations and three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame. MacGillivray Freeman’s films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world. It is the first documentary film company to reach the one-billion-dollar benchmark for worldwide box office.