The much anticipated annual Sundance Film Festival kick started on January 20 in Utah. Besides the long list of films that the movie buffs are dying to watch, one movie that stands apart for generating a much higher level of curiosity among not only the film lovers but also the netizens is Youtube's Life in a Day.
The video sharing website took up a very unique movie making experiment in the year 2010, when it invited the world to take part in developing what has now come to be known as the first user-generated feature-length documentary. The Life in a Day project began with the aim of documenting a single day on the planet. YouTube asked people from all parts of the world to record a snapshot of their lives on July 24, 2010 and to submit it for compilation.
YouTube received some 80,000 individual clips. The 4,500 hours of footage was tailored into an hour and a half of feature film by director Kevin McDonald and legendary producer Ridley Scott. The site announced that the documentary film was completed in December 2010.
While contributors whose submissions were chosen have been credited as co-directors, a lucky group of 26 have been invited to attend the world premiere of the film at the prestigious Sundance Festival.
The 26 contributors invited to attend the premiere span the globe from Egypt to the Ukraine. Their film clips capture a wide array of life experiences, including a Korean man who has been cycling the world for 9 years, a young mother battling cancer and a Russian free-runner making Moscow his playground, the company said in a statement on January 6, 2011.
I am delighted that we're bringing together contributors from all over the globe in such a unique way. I believe Life In A Day will inspire more people to pick up a camera and tell their stories, Executive producer Scott, who is famed for movies such as Black Hawk Down and Gladiator, was quoted as saying.
Macdonald believes that the film will show the future generations what it was like to be alive on July 24, 2010.
He said, It is a testament to the skill, insight and generosity of so many contributors that we have ended up with such a powerful, cohesive and emotionally engaging film - which really gives you a flavor of what it was like to be alive on 24th July 2010.
The film is slated for premier at Sundance on Thursday, January 27. Fret not, however, if you are not among those attending the festival nor the 26 lucky contributors who will get to catch the premier as YouTube has decided to stream the movie live on youtube.com/lifeinaday (the Life in a Day channel) at 6pm MT. Even if you miss the live stream, the movie will later be released in select theaters.
Besides this, YouTube has also arranged for users to get on-the-ground updates from Kevin Macdonald and the group of contributors between January 24 and January 27 through the channel dedicated to Life in a Day. Users can also submit questions on the channel for a chance to take part in a live Q&A with Kevin and the contributors following the world premiere.
The anticipation for the YouTube documentary is extremely high due to the unprecedented nature of the project and production and also due to the allowance of global participation in the process. In a way, the film boosts best of both the worlds - independent amateur filmmakers along with big names from the industry.
Kim Voynar, a columnist for the Movie City News (MCN), has listed Life in a Day as one of the nine movies she can't wait to watch.
Apart from being fascinated by the sheer breadth of this project, early reports I've heard are that the end result is moving and very well done, she remarks.
Among the other films that made it on her list are: the Liberian-set documentary The Redemption of General Butt Naked; Kevin Smith's Red State; Project Nim, a James Marsh documentary about a chimpanzee who was taught sign language and The Lie, based on a New Yorker short story by T.C. Boyle.
Life in a Day has been categorized under the U.S. Documentary Competition. The YouTube film will face competition from 15 other contenders shortlisted from a total of 841 submissions. How To Die In Oregon is one among the enteries in the category. Directed by Peter D. Richardson, the documentary narrates stories of terminally ill Oregonians as they chose to end their lives under the state's Death With Dignity Law.
The twenty-fifth Sundance Film Festival will end on January 30, after the Award Ceremony January 29.