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Published 8th Apr 2011

Yuri Gagarin on his way to the launch pad - courtesy Footagevault

The Attic Room is proud to announce the global premier of ‘First Orbit’, a feature length film event that weaves historic audio recordings of the first Cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, with new footage of his orbital route. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of man’s first journey into space, the film will premiere globally for free on YouTube at sunrise on 12 April and will be accessible from anywhere in the world.

BBC will also screen First Orbit on giant city centre “Big Screens” across the UK including Middlesbrough at 07.07am on 12 April 2011 to coincide with the exact time Yuri Gagarin’s original space mission first took place in 1961.

The movie will then be screened again at 12.30 (lunch time) for those unable to see it in the morning.

In collaboration with the European Space Agency and the astronauts onboard the International Space Station, filmmaker Chris Riley has captured the magnificence of Gagarin’s original orbit. Filmed by astronaut Paolo Nespoli, ’First Orbit’ delivers breath-taking digital, full high-definition views of the Earth from above. The footage matches the orbital path of the International Space Station as closely as possible to that of Gagarin's original route, allowing viewers to see incredible vistas of the Earth through the Space Station’s new giant cupola window.

Director, Chris Riley says “We have woven historic Vostok I mission recordings of Gagarin (subtitled in English) with new shots captured by Paolo Nespoli, and edited them to an original score by composer Philip Sheppard, creating a spellbinding film which I’m thrilled to be able to share with people around the world for free on this historic anniversary.”

In addition to the First Orbit film premiere release on and, the Yuri's Night network is organising hundreds of parties across the world to watch the film on 12 April to celebrate the incredible achievement of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first man ever to travel into space.

Useful links

First Orbit

First Orbit on youtube

First Orbit on facebook

@firstorbit on twitter

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