YouTube to Premiere Film "Home" Same Day as Theaters

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YouTube might be the kind of online video, but it’s not exactly known as a bastion of quality online video: instead, people are likely to find videos of amateur singers or camcordered grade school graduation ceremonies than professionally-produced offerings. But in a move to prove it can compete with the big boys—and no doubt attract major audiences and advertising dollars—YouTube will be premiering the environmentally-themed film Home tomorrow at the same time the film debuts in theaters.

YouTube has recently started streaming content like older TV shows and movies in an effort to lure studios and advertisers to its service; the film premiere marks the first time YouTube has offered content at the same time a movie as premiered in theaters, and the first time YouTube has set itself up as a conduit for a "live" Internet event.

Home, directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and produced by Luc Besson (whose credits include films like The Fifth Element,Nikita, and the Transporter series), detailing the impact human activity has had on Earth’s environment and ecosystem and serves as a call to action for humans to change the way they live before the environment is irreversibly harmed. The French multinational PPR Group is supporting the film, and EuropaCorp has agreed to distribute Home as a non-profit effort. The film offers footage from all over the planet in an effort to show how systems and environments are inextricably linked.

Home goes live on YouTube June 5, 2009.

Home is not the first time YouTube has offered a film; last October, the site offered teen drama The Princess of Nebraska from director Wayne Wang, but Princess was not set for theatrical release.