Indie prodco Sundog Pictures has opted to give its feature documentary Breaking the Taboo a world premiere on its own branded YouTube channel, launching the doc on December 7.
Narrated by actor Morgan Freeman (pictured), Breaking the Taboo explores the UN sanctioned war on drugs, finding its origins and highlighting its impact on countries including the U.S., Colombia and Russia. In Spanish-speaking markets, the documentary will be voiced by actor Gael Garcia Bernal.
The premiere on the branded channel will be available to a global audience for free. The user-generated site will also promote the doc on the YouTube homepage and market the film throughout the platform.
Google’s hosted premieres will kick off today (December 5) in London and on December 6 in New York, ahead of the online premiere, and the London screening will be followed by discussions – chaired by Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy – with Richard Branson, speaking in his role as commissioner for the Global Commission on Drug Policy; Transform Drug Policy Foundation founder Danny Kushlick; artist and drug policy reformer Amanda Feilding; Green Party leader Caroline Lucas; and international drug policy adviser Tom Lloyd.
“It’s incredibly difficult to get significant theatrical distribution even for the most acclaimed feature documentary, and even then you can measure audiences in the tens of thousands,” said Sundog MD Johnny Webb. “By substituting cinema with YouTube, we believe we can reach millions of people rather than thousands, and create a virtuous circle of promotion which will boost viewing in the global TV window.”
Sundog aims for a 2013 television debut for Breaking the Taboo through deals secured by TVF International.