"District 9" Released
District 9, commonly shortened to D9, is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13, 2009.
It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film directed by Neill Blomkamp, and features Sharlto Copley, Simon Hansen and Shanon Worley. The title of the movie is a reference to District Six, a former inner-city residential area in Cape Town, South Africa. The district was declared a "whites only" area by the apartheid government in 1966, and the population of 60,000 forcibly relocated to Cape Flats, 25 kilometres away.
The film opens with a documentary-style series of interviews that explain events that occurred twenty years prior when an alien ship settled above Johannesburg, South Africa. After three months of speculation as to the ship's purpose, humans cut their way in, discovering a large group of sick and malnourished non-humans. These beings were later assessed as being "workers", with their leadership mysteriously missing. A part of the ship, supposed to be a command module, later fell to Earth, although it was never found. The creatures, primarily referred to by the derogatory term "prawns", were ultimately housed in a government camp inside Johannesburg called District 9. Overcrowding and militarization eventually turned the area into a slum, and a massive black market was established between the aliens and a group of Nigerians. A private company known as Multinational United (MNU), which specializes in weapons research and security subcontracting, eventually came to be in charge of the situation in District 9.
The film relies heavily on viral marketing to build interest. Among the techniques used are an immersive website and posters in various cities on bus stops. The first widespread use of this marketing tactic for this film occurred at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con. A large protest rally against the film's "non-human" race was staged at the convention center, going so far as to declare certain restrooms and exhibition halls for "humans only".