An experimental film project in which over 80,000 YouTube users opted to participate will soon reach far beyond computer monitors and the occasional Internet-connected TV. National Geographic has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to Life in a Day, ensuring a theatrical release.
To perhaps refresh your memory: Life in a Day is the Ridley Scott-backed project that revolved around YouTube users submitting videos of their activities. It was then director Kevin Macdonald's job to assemble the clips into a coherent documentary, and the whole thing is generating a fair amount of buzz.
As for the latest development, an official statement explained, "The deal was negotiated by Kattie Evans from National Geographic with Tim Haslam of HanWay on behalf of Scott Free UK. National Geographic will launch the film theatrically July 24, 2011, day-and-date with YouTube, to mark the first anniversary of the creation of the project."
Producer Liza Marshall, head of Film and TV at Scott Free UK, then added, "Kevin and I are delighted that National Geographic is on board to help us reach new audiences. They are the perfect distributors for our film and completely understand its potential."
Indeed, if all goes well, Life in a Day could have a significant impact on the entertainment industry, given that nothing of this sort (or at least on this scale) has been tried before. And National Geographic, which made March of the Penguins an international hit, knows how to handle documentaries.
Meanwhile, anyone wanting to get an early look at the finished product can join a live broadcast of the premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this Thursday at 8 PM EST.