Dear colleagues of the press,
PO Box 292, Spencertown, NY 12165 USA
Susan Davies, Producer
email@example.com; mobile 518-929- 7629
December 12, 2017
For immediate release
A new film about a female scientific rebel who challenged entrenched theories of evolution to
present a new narrative: life evolves through collaboration
Hummingbird Films is proud to announce the release of its new film Symbiotic Earth: How Lynn
Margulis rocked the boat and started a scientific revolution premiering worldwide in March 2018.
Premiere screenings will take place at Oxford University on March 3, the Museu Blau of the Natural
Sciences Museum of Barcelona on March 7 and the David Brower Center in Berkeley on March 18. The
premieres will launch a worldwide series of community screenings.
Symbiotic Earth is the story of a scientific rebel. A model of female empowerment, Lynn Margulis fought
the male establishment and, through her persistence, triumphed. As a young scientist in the 1960s,
Margulis was ridiculed when she articulated a theory that symbiosis was a key driver of evolution. Instead
of the mechanistic view that life evolved through random mutations and competition, she presented a
symbiotic narrative in which bacteria joined together to create animals, plants and all other non-bacterial
organisms. The idea that all of life is deeply interconnected and collaborative has radical implications for
how we look at our selves, evolution, and the environment.
Filmmaker John Feldman met Lynn Margulis in 2005 when making a film about evolution. With
Margulis’ help, he began to develop a film about new ideas in evolutionary biology, but when she died
suddenly of a stroke in 2011 at the age of 73, he decided to make a more ambitious film about the scope
and implications of Margulis’ and her colleagues’ groundbreaking new views.
Feldman’s goal in making Symbiotic Earth was to engage audiences in rethinking their assumptions about
life on Earth. In particular, the film explores how a belief in the scientific veracity of the metaphors
"survival of the fittest" and "the selfish gene" has been complicit in creating a culture of greed and
selfishness leading to global economic and environmental exploitation.
Symbiotic Earth explores radical ideas with a sense of humor and a deep respect for science. Daryl
Taylor, the host of a preview screening in Melbourne, declared, “Lynn’s energy, optimism, good humour,
mischief and awe leap off the screen.” The filmmakers’ distribution plan is focused on getting people
together in community screenings to converse about the ideas explored in the film. Individuals and
organizations around the world have begun to schedule community screenings in theaters, libraries,
schools, and living rooms for dates following the March premieres.
Each of the premiere screenings of Symbiotic Earth reflects a specific aspect of Margulis’s work. The
Oxford premiere’s panel discussion, led by evolution scientist Denis Noble, author of The Music of Life,
will focus on the “third way” of evolution which offers pioneering scientific alternatives to Neo-
Darwinism and Creationism. In 2009 while Margulis was a visiting professor at Oxford, she engaged in a
now famous debate with Richard Dawkins which is chronicled in the film.
The Barcelona screening will focus on the awe-inspiring history and importance of bacteria. Throughout
her career Margulis stressed that a human is not an individual organism but a consortium of many
organisms, notably bacteria. This idea is now widely accepted. She spent many years of her career in
Barcelona. Intellectuals and universities across Spain embraced and honored her. The screening at the
Museu Blau will be presented by the Barcelona Knowledge Hub, Academia Europaea and by the
Barcelona Museum of Natural Science. Prof. Ricardo Guerrero, Margulis’ long-time companion and
colleague at the University of Barcelona, is hosting the premiere along with Anna Omedes, the director of
the Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona.
The American premiere in Berkeley, California is being co-presented by the Bioneers and the David
Brower Center. Following the screening, author and systems theorist Fritjof Capra will lead a discussion
focused on the environment, systems thinking, and the Gaia theory – which Margulis co-developed with
James Lovelock. The Bioneers’ mission is to promote practical and innovative solutions to global
environmental and bio-cultural challenges. The David Brower Center provides a home for the
environmental movement by advocating for the beauty, diversity and ecological integrity of Earth.
For more information about the film go to http://hummingbirdfilms.com/symbioticearth/ or contact
producer Susan Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org.