Our microbes are vanishing rapidly and life-threatening diseases are skyrocketing. But what makes these ‘good germs’ so
important? They evolved alongside us for 200,000 years – and are collectively called our microbiome – they keep us healthy
by regulating our immune systems and digesting our food. Over the last seventy years we’ve lost half of our microbial
diversity at the same time we’ve seen stratospheric increases in deadly diseases like asthma, food allergies, obesity, and
diabetes. Is the destruction of our microbiome making us sick?

Two globetrotting microbiologists, Gloria Dominguez-Bello and Marty Blaser, race to save our vanishing microbes before
it’s too late. The Invisible Extinction joins them on this urgent quest from the USA to Venezuela, China, Israel, and Switzerland,
showing us how the overuse of antibiotics, elective C-sections, and processed foods are driving the destruction of our inner
ecology, which is happening even faster than climate change. At the same time, the film tells the stories of three patients,
in the USA and China, who suffer from life-threatening diseases triggered by microbial loss and are trying experimental
treatments that hold hope. As the Covid-19 pandemic hits, Marty pivots to focus on how our microbes may help protect us
from the virus and future pandemics, while Gloria spearheads the creation of an international microbe vault to safeguard
precious specimens.

The Invisible Extinction

The progress

Achieved Milestones



Filming potential sites for the Microbiota Vault in the Swiss alps



Seerave gets involved as Executive Producer

The Filmmakers

Steven Lawarence


Steve is a producer-director and media pioneer who has been making documentaries for over 30 years about artists, activists and everyday heroes - from underground Soviet rockers, to a Senegalese rapper fighting FGM, to cat rescuers in Brooklyn, and now scientists racing to save the human microbiome. As a producer his work includes three feature docs in collaboration with Michael Apted, including The Long Way Home and Married In America. He created the International Emmy-award winning series Born In The USSR producing the first film, Age 7 In The USSR. Among his many other producing credits are The Furious Force Of Rhymes, Sarabah (Movies That Matter Golden Butterfly award), and Heddy Honigmann’s 100 UP. His directing credits include Tell Tchaikovsky The News: Rock In Russia for MTV, the Vis   Vis series for PBS and The Cat Rescuers, winner of the 2018 Hamptons International Film Festival animal rights award. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, Helen Garrett.

Sarah Schenck


Sarah is a writer, director, and producer who is deeply passionate about using filmmaking to advance public health goals for diverse audiences. She makes shorts for nonprofit organizations including the Park Slope Food Coop, Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International, the NYC public schools, and the Supportive Housing Network, where she served as Chief Digital Officer. Sarah also leads a long-running meditation class for individuals with mental health challenges at St. Francis Friends of the Poor. While working as the NYC Comptroller’s Senior Policy Advisor for Education, where she received a Commendation for Excellence in Public Service, she taught herself filmmaking. Sarah produced Virgin, starring Elisabeth Moss and Robin Wright for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature Film Under $500,000. Her feature comedy Slippery Slope won prizes at film festivals worldwide. For the PBS weekly news program “Need to Know,” Sarah was director, producer, and correspondent for Saving Carla, an acclaimed episode that focused on childhood obesity.