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“APOLLO 11: FIRST STEPS EDITION” to open in science centers and museum

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: MacGillivray Freeman Films, press releaseDate: 15.05.2019
Embark on a thrilling journey to the Moon with ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’ a special giant screen version for science centers and museum theaters of Todd Douglas Miller’s critically-acclaimed documentary.

Timed to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of NASA’s celebrated first lunar landing, ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’ features newly discovered 70mm footage and audio recordings from NASA and the National Archives.

Los Angeles, CA, April 25, 2019 – MacGillivray Freeman Films and CNN Films are proud to announce the release of Todd Douglas Miller’s ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’, an exclusive giant screen documentary opening in select science centers and museum-based IMAX® and giant screen theaters starting May 17, 2019.

Produced by Statement Pictures in partnership with CNN Films and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films, ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’ is a special giant screen version of the critically-acclaimed theatrical documentary Apollo 11 released earlier this year. ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’ will open exclusively in science centers and museum-based giant screen theaters as part of the much-anticipated global celebration of the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission – the first to put men on the Moon.

“The Apollo 11 mission was humanity’s greatest adventure and we’re pleased to be bringing this edition to science centers and museums everywhere,” says director Todd Douglas Miller. “This film was designed to take full advantage of the immersive quality of IMAX and giant screen theaters.”

“We aimed to honor the original Apollo 11 mission by creating a film event that would capture the spectacle of this most extraordinary of human achievements,” says Courtney Sexton, vice president of CNN Films. “Todd’s ambitious Apollo 11: First Steps Edition will thrill museum-goers with an incredible, unprecedented experience.” Sexton and Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, are both executive producers of the film.

Crafted from a newly-discovered trove of never-before-seen 70mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’ puts audiences at the center of the historic lunar landing. Miller and his team crafted ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’ entirely from archival materials. As the team was working closely with NASA and the National Archives (NARA) to locate all existing Apollo 11 footage, NARA staff members made a startling discovery that changed the course of the project: an unprocessed collection of 70mm large format footage, never before seen by the public, containing stunning shots of the launch, the inside of Mission Control, and recovery and post-mission activities. The other unexpected find was a massive cache of audio recordings that captured individual tracks from 60 key mission personnel throughout every moment of the mission.

“With the incredible find of so much pristine, never-before-seen footage and new audio recordings, our project evolved beyond filmmaking into one of film curation and historic preservation,” said producer Thomas Petersen. “This new material yielded remarkable new insights into key events of the mission.”
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“When Apollo 11: First Steps Edition opens in museums and science centers around the globe starting May 17, it will be the centerpiece of a vast series of celebratory programs and activities leading up to the 50th anniversary of this historic event,” said Shaun MacGillivray, President of MacGillivray Freeman Films, which is distributing the film. “We cannot wait to see audiences experience the thrill of walking on the Moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and becoming a part of history as the world celebrates this greatest of human accomplishments.”

Apollo 11: First Steps Edition is a family friendly film and runs 47 minutes. For more information, visit apollo11firststeps.com.

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.

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. CNN Films previously collaborated with Todd Douglas Miller for its presentation of Dinosaur 13. Recent acclaimed CNN Films include RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen; LOVE, GILDA, directed by Lisa D’Apolito; and Three Identical Strangers, directed by Tim Wardle.

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 for The Living Sea and Dolphins and three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame, including "Everest", the highest grossing giant screen film of all time. 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.
"Apollo 11", Review, 10. June 2019

A True Masterpiece

I got the opportunity to watch "Apollo 11" in IMAX Omniversum, Netherlands in all of its film glory and it was breathtaking. Never before seen footage of the mission and going as close as the final steps of the moon landing was amazingly emotional. The countdown sequence, close up shots, and the moment when we hear "One small step for man..." brought tears. It also reminded me of 15/70 footage of "First Man"'s lunar landing sequence. The runtime at the Omniversum was 50 minutes. I am now waiting for it to release on IMAX Laser in Brussels on the 26th to see the visual difference.


Where to see ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’ in authentic 7OMM IMAX 15-perf version & 7OMM iWERKS 8-perf version
7OMM Engagement by
MacGillivray Freeman Films


Canada / Toronto / Ontario Science Center / Imax dome / 17-05-19

France / Toulouse / Cite de L’espace / Imax flat / 01-06-19

Germany / Speyer / Auto and Technik Museum / Imax dome / 17-05-19

Holland / The Hague / Omniversum / Imax dome / 21-05-19

Uk / London / London Science Museum / Imax flat / 17-05-19


Birmingham / Mcwane Science Center / Imax dome / 19-05-19

Sacramento / Esquire Imax theatre / Imax / summer 19

Norwalk / The Maritime Aquarium / Imax / 17-05-19

Orlando / Dr. Phillips CineDome / iWERKS / 01-07-19

St Paul / Science Museum of Minnesota / Imax or Imax Dome / 17-05-19

Cleveland / Cleveland Clinic Dome Theatre / Imax Dome / May 2019

Fort Worth / Museum of Science and History / Imax dome / 17-05-19

For more information, visit apollo11firststeps.com.
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Updated 07-08-22