Spaceship Earth

The Northwest Film Center and the Portland Art Museum present Spaceship Earth. Opens [Online] Friday, May 8. Spaceship Earth premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and follows eight people who spent two years inside of a replica of Earth’s ecosystem called Biosphere 2.

Your $3.99 ticket will directly support both NWFC and PAM and we encourage all of our members, staff, and supporters to join us—and spread the word.

Virtual ticket sales will be unavailable after JUNE 28, 2020.

At a time when the bulk of cinemas are expected to remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, our plan is to continue bringing new films to the PAM and NWFC audiences that allow us to follow social distancing rules.

We are proud to partner with NEON, the film production and distribution company that released Oscar winners such as Parasite and I, Tonya, on this innovative strategy to bring Spaceship Earth to our audiences during COVID-19.

We are excited to offer this film at an affordable price because of the economic hardship that Americans are facing during the pandemic.

Spaceship Earth
Directed by Matt Wolf
2020 Sundance Film Festival
Official Selection, U.S. Documentary Competition
United States | 2020 | 115 min

Spaceship Earth is the true, stranger-than-fiction, adventure of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called Biosphere 2. The experiment was a worldwide phenomenon, chronicling daily existence in the face of life-threatening ecological disaster and growing criticism that it was nothing more than a cult. The bizarre story is both a cautionary tale and a hopeful lesson of how a small group of dreamers can potentially reimagine a new world.

Watch the film followed by a special pre-taped conversation with Director Matt Wolf. You can also join one of our live virtual Q&A’s with filmmaker Matt Wolf and two Biosphere 2 crew members from the film, Linda Leigh and Mark Nelson.

Friday, May 15th – 7:30pm PT/10:30pm ET
Hosted by NRDC/Buckminster Fuller Institute, Moderated by Cheryl Slean

Saturday, May 16th – 4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET
Hosted by Brooklyn Public Library, Moderated by Joel Whitney

Saturday, May 16th – 6:30pm PT/9:30pm ET
Hosted by Alamo Drafthouse. A conversation about biospheric science and coconut bombs with Director Matt Wolf and Pauly Shore.

Sunday, May 17th – 5pm PT/8pm ET
Hosted by Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Director Matt Wolf and artist Fritz Haeg in conversation. Moderated by Fanny Singer, the author of a new memoir about life with her mother, Alice Waters.

Spaceship Earth FAQ

The Northwest Film Center and the Portland Art Museum have partnered with Academy Award-winning studio NEON to present Spaceship Earth, the true, stranger-than-fiction adventure of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called Biosphere 2. 

The proceeds from each ticket purchased will help support us.

Please see brief instructions on how to watch the film at home, below, and thank you so much for your support. Please enjoy Spaceship Earth!

Rental Details: 
Each ticket will be $3.99 and once you have purchased your ticket, you will have 72 hours to watch the film. It launches May 8

How to watch:

  1. Click our special link to visit NEON’s virtual cinema platform, where your one-time purchase of $3.99 will give you access to your virtual ticket to view the film.
  2. To ensure that you are able to pause and revisit the film within your rental period, you will be required to create a free Vimeo account.
  3. After you have created an account and entered your payment information, your rental period will start immediately and last for 72 hours. You can view the film via the link in the receipt sent to your email, or simply click “Watch Film” when the confirmation page appears directly after purchase.
  4. You will be able to easily watch the film at any time within this period on any of the following platforms: 
    1. SMART TV (using the browser on your Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Roku or Chromecast)
    2. MOBILE DEVICE (iPhone, iPad, Android)
    3. COMPUTER (by clicking on the link in your email receipt)
  5. Need help? Please contact

Does the film have captions?
Yes. Captioning is an available feature on our films.

I didn’t get a chance to watch the movie in time. Can I get a new link or a refund?
If the rental period is expired, we unfortunately are unable to provide a refund. If you would still like to see the film, please repurchase for a new rental period.​ ​If you need a refund for another reason, please contact ​​ ​to request one.

Why do I need to create a Vimeo account to watch a film?
NEON’s Virtual Cinema is supported by Vimeo. Creating an account allows you to pause and revisit the film anytime within 72 hours of your purchase, and helps prevent potential piracy.

This is a Vimeo service. How does this benefit my favorite theatre?
Revenue from your purchase is split evenly between NEON and the exhibitor, similar to a traditional box office split. The purchase link you choose will alert us which venue you wish to support with your virtual ticket.

Why isn’t my favorite local business on the list?
NEON is currently expanding our list of Cinema Everywhere partners. We encourage you to check back soon as we continue to add new participating venues! If you are a local business interested in participating, please contact ​

Is my payment secure?
Our platform uses ​Stripe​ to process payments. Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.