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Facebook Live to Stream 9/11 Documentary ‘The Outsider’ as First Paid Movie Premiere

Aubrey Meister

Facebook will be used to debut a movie for the first time ever, executives confirmed to Axios. The documentary, The Outsider, will premiere on Facebook Live on August 19 at 8 p.m. ET. It features the construction of the 9/11 Museum in Manhattan.

The documentary is controversial and may get some attention for that. Museum employees have called the documentary “defamatory.” Steven Rosenbaum, the director, insists the film is “focused on free speech, and open debate and discussion.”

Rosenbaum and Pamela Yoder, the documentary’s other director, have been working on this project for nearly 20 years. This year marks the 20 years since the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001.

“Until this film, you would have had to find an international distributor to do individual broadcast and theatrical deals,” Rosenbaum, director of The Outsider, said. “Once you got past big English-speaking markets, it wouldn’t have been worth it. Without Facebook, all of the mid-sized and smaller markets would never see this.”

The film will be accessible to Facebook users worldwide who purchase a ticket to the live event for $3.99 through Facebook’s Paid Online Events app. The Paid Online Events app is available in more than 100 countries. Rosenbaum says he believes it’s important to make this documentary accessible to people all over the world since almost one-third of the 9/11 Museum’s visitors are international.

In addition to its premiere on Facebook, the documentary will be available in select theaters and on-demand via streaming in September.

This is the first time that Facebook has premiered a movie, but there have been other exclusive streams on the social media platform, including shows and events. Depending on the success of The Outsider on Facebook, this could be a new and innovative way for films to reach large audiences.

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