Yuri Gagarin FIRST ORBIT film to screen all 30 language versions in London at the British Interplanetary Society

First Orbit, the hit Internet film that re-creates the story of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering spaceflight of 1961, is to receive celebratory London screenings in 30 languages beginning 12 April and through May 2012.

British independent filmmaker, Christopher Riley has teamed up with the world’s longest established space flight organisation the British Interplanetary Society to host the screenings at their central London headquarters in Vauxhall. The screenings will begin on the 12 April, with the Russian and English subtitled versions.

Chris Riley says: “I’m delighted we are able to screen First Orbit in all 30 languages at such a prominent venue as the British Interplanetary Society. Back in 1961 Yuri’s spaceflight united people around the world with a feeling of shared success. Over fifty years later, through the translations of this story from our common human heritage, we hope to remind everyone that we truly are one people living together on one planet.”

A spokesperson for the British Interplanetary Society says: “We have a long history in celebrating and promoting the human spirit of exploration through space flight, and what better way to do this than by ‘re-living’ the story of Yuri Gagarin's pioneering flight through the film ‘First Orbit’.  We're delighted to be able to give people the chance to see the film in all these languages.”

All the screenings will take place at the BIS Headquarters in Vauxhall, London, with dates and times posted on www.bis-space.com/firstorbit, and will include Russian, English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Czech, Hebrew, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Indonesian, Turkish, Bulgarian, Greek, Dutch, Mandarin, Malay, Thai, Danish, Farsi, Japanese, Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Portuguese, Croatian and Arabic. Chris crowd sourced these translations of the film following numerous requests from fans around the world and has since published them free on the project’s web site www.firstorbit.org.

Requests for the film to be released led to the new multi-language DVD and Blu-ray version, subtitled into all 30 languages. This is the first time the story of Gagarin’s mission, in his own words, will be available in so many languages, making the experience of human kind’s first space flight accessible to the widest audience in history. The DVD or Blu-ray version of First Orbit can be purchased online through Amazon or direct from www.firstorbit.org. The original 2011 version of the film with English subtitles can still be watched through the project’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/firstorbit.

Notes To Editors

Christopher Riley

Christopher Riley Director and Producer – First Orbit, worked on data from NASA’s early Spacelab 1 Shuttle mission for his Ph.D. at Imperial College, London, before embarking on a career making science documentaries for the BBC. He has worked with the NASA film archive for the past fifteen years on projects ranging from the BBC’s landmark series ‘The Planets’ to his highly acclaimed feature documentary film ‘In the Shadow of the Moon ’ and his unique restoration project of NASA’s classic documentary Moonwalk One. He is the visiting Professor of Science and Media at the University of Lincoln, UK and founder of the stock footage library Footagevault. Riley created his first video installation from ‘found footage’ for the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing during the summer of 2009. ‘Apollo Raw and Uncut ’ played in gallery spaces in London and Montreal and was the first time the entire 23 hours of Apollo mission flight film archive had been screened in public.

The British Interplanetary Society

The British Interplanetary Society is one of the UK’s leading organisations dedicated to the promotion of astronautics and space exploration and, founded in 1933, is the world’s longest-established body in its field.

Its motto, ‘From Imagination to Reality’ is reflected in its visionary and inspirational technical studies and projects, which can be traced back to the BIS’ lunar lander in the 1930s and the design of the first spacesuits. Later projects included the first engineering study and design of a technically feasible starship, Daedalus, in the 1970s. BIS members are currently working on Project Icarus, which was inspired by Daedalus and begun in 2009.

The Society is responsible for a number of influential publications. Spaceflight magazine provides comprehensive coverage of astronautics news and current affairs, future projects and trends, history and technical reports. The authoritative Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) publishes refereed academic papers on astronautics while Space Chronicle provides wide-ranging coverage of spaceflight history. The popular e-newsletter Odyssey, as well as keeping members fully informed on the BIS’ calendar of events, covers the history and heritage of the Society and engages with writers of ‘hard’ science fiction, reflecting the imaginative aspect of spaceflight.

Members enjoy an exciting range of lectures, workshops and social events with speakers including astronauts, space scientists and engineers, authors and thought leaders. The BIS welcomes and unites all those with an interest in spaceflight, from professionals and academics to enthusiasts, and has a truly global membership.

Further information, including the programme of First Orbit screening dates, can be found at www.bis-space.com. Their headquarters in the UK is at 27-29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ.

Yuri Gagarin & Vostok 1

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet cosmonaut who, on 12 April 1961, became the first human to journey into space, launching to orbit aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft. His call sign for the flight was 'Cedar' - meaning Siberian Pine. Ground Control identified themselves as Dawn. Unsure of the effect of space flight on a human being, the spacecraft's controls were run by an automatic system, with Gagarin only permitted to take control in an emergency.

The flight of Vostok 1 began at 06:07 Universal Time (UT), boosted into orbit by a Vostok-K series rocket. Since the Vostok 1 capsule's parachute-assisted descent rate was deemed too high for a cosmonaut to risk riding down to the surface, Gagarin ejected while still seven kilometres above the ground. He made his final descent on his own parachute and landed at 07:55 UT, having flown right around the planet in just 108 minutes.

For further information please contact Rufus Stone T: 44 (0)20 7287 9601        

Email: rufus.stone@sisteris.com

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