Nicolas Brown’s award-winning documentary presents one of the most important but untold science stories of our time—a tale with profound implications for the fate of life on our planet.

New York / London – April 25, 2019 – Abramorama, Passion Planet and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios announced today they will release Nicolas Brown’s award-winning documentary THE SERENGETI RULES in theaters nationwide this May. The film will open in New York City at the Quad Cinema on Friday, May 10, 2019 and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica Film Center on Friday, May 17, with and additional select markets in the US and Canada following in the spring and summer. 

Passion Planet, a division of the Academy Award-winning Passion Pictures, and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios present one of the most important but untold science stories of our time—a tale with profound implications for the fate of life on our planet. Beginning in the 1960s, a small band of young scientists - Bob Paine, Jim Estes, Mary Power, Tony Sinclair, and John Terborgh - headed out into the wilderness, driven by an insatiable curiosity about how nature works. Immersed in some of the most remote and spectacular places on Earth—from the majestic Serengeti to the Amazon jungle; from the Arctic Ocean to Pacific tide pools—they discovered a single set of rules that govern all life. Now in the twilight of their eminent careers, these five unsung heroes of modern ecology share the stories of their adventures, reveal how their pioneering work flipped our view of nature on its head, and give us a chance to reimagine the world as it could and should be.

Across the globe, these pioneering scientists discovered that among the millions of species on our planet, some “keystone” species are far more important than others. Until their revolutionary discoveries, no one had understood the vital role keystone species play in their ecosystems. But their new knowledge provided new hope, and revealed how the rules they discovered can be used to upgrade and restore the natural world. Based on the book by Sean B. Carroll, THE SERENGETI RULES will forever change the way we see nature. The film will be accompanied by a media and impact campaign to shine a light on ecological restoration projects across the world.

Abramorama CEO Richard Abramowitz stated, “We’re honored that Passion Planet and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios have once again entrusted us to release a film of such significance and power.  Complex ideas are made accessible in The Serengeti Rules so that moviegoers can see how little things can affect our planet in a big way.”

THE SERENGETI RULES had its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and won awards at top-film festivals worldwide including the “Best Environmental Film” at the 2019 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, “Jury Award” at the 2018 Wild & Scenic Film Festival, “Green Fire Award” at the 2018 American Conservation Film Festival, “Family Friendly Documentary” at the 2018 Maui Film Festival, “Golden Owl” at the 2018 Bergen International Film Festival and “Smithsonian Channel Theatrical Award” at the 2018 Wildscreen Panda Awards.

Abramorama’s other documentary releases have included Ron Howard’s Grammy Award®-winning The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years; Brett Morgen and National Geographic’s Jane, Showtime’s National Board of Review winner Listen to Me Marlo; HHMI Tangled Bank’s The Most Unknown ; Kenneth A. Carlson’s The Heart of Nuba, Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos’ Bending The Arc; Kim Snyder’s Newtown; Civia Tamarkin’s Birthright: A War Story; Mari-Lynn Evans and Jordan Freeman’s Blood on The Mountain; Dawn Porter’s Trapped; and Draft House Releasing’s 2016 Documentary Academy Award-nominee and IDA Best Documentary Winner The Look of Silence.

THE SERENGETI RULES is produced by David Allen and executive produced by David Guy Elisco, John Battsek and Dennis WC Liu.  

For additional information, please visit


Passion Planet, a division of Passion Pictures is a global production company with a worldwide reputation for its commercials, animation, feature documentaries and landmark television productions. With three Oscars, three BAFTAs, and numerous Emmy awards Passion Pictures’ film and television department has a world-renowned output with notable titles including: Academy Award-winning One day in September, Academy Award-nominated Restrepo, Academy shortlisted The Tillman Story (Winner: Best Historical Doc Emmy 2012), BAFTA-winning The Imposter, Academy Award and BAFTA-winning Searching For Sugar Man, Golden Panda and Emmy-winning My life as a Turkey, and the Netflix original Academy Award-nominated Winter On Fire. Passion Planet is a department set up by four-time Emmy Award-winning producer/director David Allen to focus on natural history and specialist factual documentaries. The Serengeti Rules is Passion Planet’s latest feature length production. Visit for more information.


HHMI Tangled Bank Studios is a production company established and funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an extension of its longstanding science education mission. The Institute is the largest private, nonprofit supporter of science education in the United States. Dedicated to the creation of original science documentaries for broadcast, theatrical and digital distribution, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios award-winning films address important contemporary issues and capture compelling stories of discovery across all branches of scientific inquiry. Recent films include Emmy Award-winning The Farthest – Voyager in Space, Emmy Award-nominated Spillover – Zika, Ebola & Beyond, and GSCA Award-winning IMAX® films Backyard Wilderness and Amazon Adventure. For more information visit


Abramorama is the preeminent global theatrical distribution and rights management partner for documentary and music films today and is recognized for the consistent high quality of its work on award winning feature films. An innovator in the focused, personalized form of film distribution and event cinema, Abramorama provides invaluable alternatives to filmmakers and content owners. An industry leader in marketing, promotion, and distribution, Abramorama continues to trail-blaze exciting new pathways for filmmakers to find their audience.  

Over the course of nearly 20 years, Abramorama has successfully distributed and marketed hundreds of films, including Ron Howard’s Grammy Award®-winning The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years; The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine; Amir Bar-Lev's Long Strange Trip – The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead; Tabbert Fiiller’s The Public Image Is Rotten; Danny Clinch and Pearl Jam’s Let’s Play Two; Corbett Redford and Green Day’s Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk; John Scheinfeld’s Chasing Trane – The John Coltrane Documentary; Roberta Grossman and Nancy Spielberg’s Who WIll Write Our History; Brett Bern's BANG! The Bert Berns Story; Brett Morgen and National Geographic’s seminal Jane; Ashley Bell’s Love & Bananas - An Elephant Story; Charles Ferguson’s Time To Choose; Asif Kapadia’s Senna; Neil Young’s Greendale; Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam Twenty; Sacha Gervasi’s Anvil! The Story of Anvil; Banksy’s Academy Award® nominated Exit Through the Gift Shop; the surprise indie hit Awake: The Life of Yogananda; Laurie Anderson’s astonishing New York Times critics’ pick, Heart of a Dog; National Board of Review Winner Listen to Me Marlon; and 2016 Documentary Academy Award®-nominee and IDA Best Documentary Winner The Look of Silence. Abramorama is a founding partner of The Seventh Art Stand program, an act of cinematic solidarity against Islamophobia that ran in more than 50 theaters across the United States in May of 2017. Abramorama recently launched its music-centric film fund focused on the global release of iconic music documentaries.  For more information visit


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