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"Amazon Adventure" Opens at the National Museum of Natural History April 21

Epic and Inspirational True Story Set in the Heart of the Amazon Rainforest

April 12, 2017

Amazon Adventure, a new giant-screen film from award-winning SK Films, brings audiences on a visually stunning odyssey through the wilds of the Amazon rainforest in a story of scientific discovery. The film opens in the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History April 21.

The film traces the extraordinary journey of naturalist and explorer Henry Walter Bates—the most influential scientist most have never heard of—who provided “the beautiful proof” to Charles Darwin for his then-controversial theory of natural selection, the scientific explanation for the development of life on Earth. As a young man, Bates risked his life for science during his 11-year expedition into the Amazon rainforest. Amazon Adventure is a compelling detective story of peril, perseverance and, ultimately, success, drawing audiences into the fascinating world of animal mimicry, the phenomenon where one animal adopts the look of another, gaining an advantage in survival.

“The giant screen is the ideal format to take audiences to places that they might not normally go to see amazing creatures they might not normally see,” said Executive Producer Jonathan Barker, CEO of SK Films. “From a humble background, with an unstoppable passion for science and life, Bates played guitar, had a pet monkey, relied on Amazonian natives to survive and learned many of their languages, and made crucial contributions to our understanding of the natural world. He should be more widely known, and we’re thrilled to introduce his remarkable story to the public.”

“Walking in the footsteps of Henry Walter Bates, audiences get to follow the clues and see one of the most important discoveries about life unfold before them scene by scene,” said Executive Producer Sean B. Carroll of HHMI Tangled Bank Studios. “Thorough Bates’ eyes, we see some of the first and best evidence of how and why species evolve. We hope this film, in tracing his adventures in the Amazon, shows where curiosity and perseverance can lead and inspire younger and older viewers alike.”

Filmed on location in the lush Amazon region, Amazon Adventure uses the immersive IMAX format to plunge audiences into a wild world of beauty and animal behavior. Things are not always as they seem in the jungle, and audiences will see an array of nature’s masters of mimicry. From the makers of the immensely popular and multiple award-winning film Flight of the Butterflies 3D, the film is directed by Mike Slee and is executive produced by Barker and Carroll. It stars Calum Finlay as Henry Bates, is written by Wendy MacKeigan and Carl Knutson and shot by cinematographers Gerry Vasbenter and Richard Kirby, with an original score by Brazilian composer Antonio Pinto.

Painstakingly researched for three years, Amazon Adventure enlisted the expertise of more than 100 scientists and historical advisors. The team’s commitment to authenticity not only resulted in this rigorous re-creation, even using actual instruments and tools from the 1850s, but the writing team also incorporated many of Bates’ own words, as he was a gifted storyteller.

Developed and produced in close collaboration with HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Amazon Adventure also received major funding from the National Science Foundation through the film’s educational outreach partner, Pacific Science Center. Other key partners include the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Simons Foundation and Foxconn Brazil and Vale.

Tickets for Amazon Adventure are available at the Samuel C. Johnson Theater box office or online at Groups of 10 or more may reserve tickets now for any date during the film’s expected run by calling 866-868-7774 or visiting The Johnson IMAX Theater is located on the main floor of the National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which is located at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.

About SK Films

SK Films is a Toronto-based, multiplatform entertainment content provider and a world leader in 3-D production and distribution. The company was founded in 1998 by Jonathan Barker and the late Robert Kerr, the visionary co-founder of the IMAX Corp.

About HHMI Tangled Bank Studios

HHMI Tangled Bank Studios is a production company established and funded by the Howard Hughes Medial Institute as an extension of its longstanding science education mission. Dedicated to the creation of original science documentaries for broadcast, theatrical and digital distribution, the company’s award-winning programs address important contemporary issues and capture compelling stories of discovery across all branches of scientific inquiry. For more information, visit

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Amazon Adventure movie poster