In the News

THE FARTHEST – VOYAGER IN SPACE Wins the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Communication Award and Scores Two News and Documentary Emmy® Award Nominations
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Press Release
August 23, 2018

CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND; August 23, 2018 — HHMI Tangled Bank Studios is proud to add the prestigious National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Communication Award for film, radio and television to the list of recognitions for THE FARTHEST – VOYAGER IN SPACE, its film about NASA’s historic mission to explore the outer solar system. The award comes on the heels of two Emmy® nominations from The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences including Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary. THE FARTHEST – VOYAGER IN SPACE shares these honors with film partners Crossing The Line Films, the Irish Film Board and PBS. Read more >

Interactive library display invites children to explore outdoors
Tullahoma News
Elena Cawley
August 22, 2018

The Coffee County Lannom Memorial Public Library in Tullahoma is the first library in Tennessee to host the Explore Your Backyard Wilderness exhibit, a display designed to motivate children to take their curiosity outside. Read more >

Film Music at TriBeCa Film Festival 2018
Film Score Monthly
Kyle Renick
May 25, 2018

A heartening work on climate change came in Nicolas Brown’s The Serengeti Rules. Five largely unknown heroes of modern ecology headed into international wildernesses decades ago, driven by curiosity about how nature functions. Read more >

HHMI Tangled Bank Studios’ Latest Film, INVENTING TOMORROW, to Screen at the Hot Docs Film Festival Following its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Press Release
April 27, 2018

CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND; APRIL 27, 2018 — HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, the awardwinning film production unit of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in association with Fishbowl Films, Motto Pictures, 19340 Productions, Shark Island Institute and Glassbreaker Films is pleased to announce that INVENTING TOMORROW will screen at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival, North America’s largest documentary festival. Read more >

'The Serengeti Rules': Tribeca Review
Screen Daily
Wendie Ide
April 21, 2018

A celebration of scientific excellence and an account of a discovery which has ramifications for natural environments the world over, The Serengeti Rules makes for compelling viewing. Based on an acclaimed book by Sean B. Carroll, who appears sporadically in the film as a narrator in one of the film’s less elegant devices, the picture draws together the work of five ecologists and naturalists, working in far-flung locations around the globe. It’s a film which sounds an alarm, but, unlike most similarly-themed pictures, one which permits a chink of light into the traditionally bleak narrative of man’s impact on the land. Read more >

The Exceptionally Varied Gems of This Year’s Tribeca Film Festival [THE SERENGETI RULES]
The Village Voice
Sam Weisberg
April 18, 2018

The movie tracks the globe-trotting, eye-opening journeys of five scientists profiled in Sean B. Carroll’s book of the same name. The photography is startling and gorgeous, and even the toughest naysayers will be hard-pressed not to admit that certain animals are essential for the protection of forests, oceans, and even endangered species. Read more >

Great Day Washington
Markette Sheppard
April 18, 2018

This Earth Day, movies are going green and Backyard Wilderness aims to inspire kids to become better global citizens. Read more >

In Partnership with New IMAX Film BACKYARD WILDERNESS, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios Offers Free Apps, Exhibits, and Kits for Kids, Families and Teachers and Communities to Explore the Wildlife in Their Own Backyards
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Press Release
April 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC; APRIL 17, 2018 – The average American child spends more than seven hours a day looking at a screen, and can identify more than 300 commercial brands but only five native species where they live. To counter that trend, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios has developed an immersive national outreach initiative to help get kids and families outdoors observing the animals, plants and habitats around them. Read more >

AMAZON ADVENTURE 3D Wins Big at the Giant Screen Industry Awards
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Press Release
March 7, 2018

CHICAGO, IL; OCTOBER 2, 2017 – SK Films and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios are thrilled to announce that Amazon Adventure took home five prestigious achievement awards at the Giant Screen Cinema Association’s (GSCA) 2017 conference. The GSCA is the global association of IMAX® and other Giant Screen industry exhibitors, producers, distributors and suppliers. Read more >

The Horror of a World Without Microbes
The Atlantic
Ed Yong
February 5, 2018

It’s not the paradise that germophobes might imagine.

You can see the consequences of this dystopian fan fiction in the video below—the seventh in a series of online films produced by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, which adapt the stories in my book, I Contain Multitudes. Read more >

INVENTING TOMORROW is a Documentary About Badass Teenagers Who Will Save All of Us (Sundance Review)
Scott Beggs
January 28, 2018

The word you’re going to see most associated with this film is “inspiring,” and while it’s definitely that in a jump-out-of-your-seat kind of way, the overwhelming sense it instilled in me was one of relief. It felt like this is the cavalry that’s come to save us from ourselves. These extraordinary, driven, eco-compassionate children are cancelling the apocalypse. Read more >

Sundance Film Review: 'Inventing Tomorrow'
Nick Schager
January 20, 2018

Kids create environmentally conscious projects to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Laura Nix’s inspiring doc. Read more >

PBS's Documentary THE GENE DOCTORS Arrives Amid A Gene Therapy Boom
Forbes Magazine
Arlene Weintraub
October 19, 2017

This month, PBS is airing a documentary called The Gene Doctors that spotlights several emerging gene therapies, including Spark Therapeutics’ Luxturna, a treatment for a rare form of blindness that won a unanimous thumbs-up last week from an advisory panel to the FDA. In addition to tracing the history of Spark’s treatment, the film brings attention to gene therapies for cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and an ultra-rare neurologic disease called fatal familial insomnia. Read more >

Nick Schager
August 11, 2017

It’s rare for a film to make one swell with pride about something he or she had no direct hand in, but “The Farthest” accomplishes that feat with aplomb. That said, it’s not exactly surprising that Emer Reynolds’ documentary pulls off such an exceptional deed, given that its subject is one of mankind’s greatest achievements: Voyager 1 and 2, the spacecraft that NASA launched in 1977 on a “grand tour” of our solar system’s remote planets, and the vast stretches of interstellar space that lay beyond. Read more >

Review: A True-life Journey into Interstellar Space in THE FARTHEST
The New York Times
Andy Webster
August 10, 2017

For any believer in humankind’s instinct to transcend boundaries, the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes, and the NASA team that produced them, inspire awe. “The Farthest,” a dazzling documentary written and directed by Emer Reynolds, illustrates why. Read more >

The Hollywood Reporter
Frank Scheck
August 9, 2017

You don’t have to be a science geek to love Emer Reynolds’ fascinating documentary about NASA’s landmark Voyager mission that launched two unmanned spacecraft to explore the outer reaches of the solar system. Being given a limited theatrical release in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the 1977 launch, The Farthest should garner greater appreciative audiences when it airs later this month on PBS. Read more >

Why NASA’s Interstellar Mission Almost Didn’t Happen
National Geographic
Timothy Ferris
August 2017

Launched in August and September 1977, NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft have opened up new worlds for exploration, including Saturn (shown here), Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. Read more >

TV3 Airs New Movie THE LUCKY SPECIALS, a Sensational Musical Journey with a Powerful Message
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Press Release
May 23, 2017

ACCRA, GHANA – MAY 23, 2017 – Celebrate Africa Day by watching THE LUCKY SPECIALS on TV3 on May 25 at 3 p.m. An African film for African audiences, this new feature-length film from the producers of the widely-acclaimed movie “Inside Story” follows a guitarist and his friends on their journey to create a new musical sound and catapult their small-time band to the big stage. Read more >

THE FARTHEST – VOYAGER IN SPACE Will Premiere August 23 on PBS in Celebration of 40th Anniversary of the Voyager Launch
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Press Release
May 4, 2017

NEW YORK, NY; MAY 2, 2017 - PBS announced today that THE FARTHEST - VOYAGER IN SPACE, a two-hour special about NASA’s historic Voyager mission to explore our solar system and beyond, will premiere nationally on August 23 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS stations, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the first Voyager launch. The documentary was an official selection in the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival as part of the festival’s Viewpoints program. Read more >

AMAZON ADVENTURE Film Brings Evolution to Life for Students
Education Week
Debra Viadero
April 20, 2017

A leaf that can fly. Bird droppings that walk. A bright flower that becomes a spider. These were just a few of the onscreen marvels at the Washington premiere of the IMAX movie "Amazon Adventure" this week. And for many of the middle and high school science teachers in the audience, the film provoked planning for a school field trip to the theater. Read more >

New Movie THE LUCKY SPECIALS Delivers a Sensational, Musical Journey with a Powerful Public Health Message about Tuberculosis in Advance of World TB Day
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Press Release
March 21, 2017

SILVER SPRING, MD; MARCH 21, 2017 – THE LUCKY SPECIALS is a feature-length film slated to entertain millions in southern Africa and around the world with its dynamic storyline, new brand of African music, and unique look at the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB). A private screening of the film was hosted by Discovery Learning Alliance and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios on March 21 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center just outside of Washington, D.C. Read more >

Smithsonian Presents Screening of Documentary Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Press Release
November 10, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC; NOVEMBER 10, 2016 – The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will host a free screening of the new HHMI’s Tangled Bank Studios film, Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond, Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in Baird Auditorium. A discussion hosted by BBC correspondent and television presenter Jane O’Brien will follow. Read more >

'Your Inner Fish' on PBS Imparts Smart Human Anatomy Lesson
L.A. Times
Mary McNamara
April 9, 2014

Ever since Charles Darwin made his way to the Galapagos, we've heard a lot about that fateful moment when some previously water-bound creature pulled itself up from the slowly receding seas, took a breath and began the eons-long march to humanity.

What we didn't know was what that creature looked like and how, specifically, it relates to us. Read more >

Neil Shubin Tells the Story of Us in 'Your Inner Fish'
Chicago Tribune
Steven Johnson
April 9, 2014

Moving downward from the shoulder, the arms of Neil Shubin, fish paleontologist, are built like this: one bone, two bones, lots of bones, digits. The same is true for a bird's wing, a leopard's forward leg and the front fins of Tiktaalik, the ancient fish Shubin discovered in arctic Canada that was one of the first to walk on land.   Read more >

PBS Pushes Science with 'Your Inner Fish'
Kevin Ritchie
April 9, 2014

PBS is bolstering its efforts to woo fans of natural history and science by adding an extra hour to its Wednesday night programming block.

Tonight (April 9), the U.S. pubcaster will premiere the three-part series Your Inner Fish, featuring paleobiologist and author Neil Shubin (pictured above). Produced by Tangled Bank Studios and Windfall Films, the miniseries is based on Shubin’s book of the same name and examines the ways human DNA is similar to shrew-like mammals that existed 165 million years ago.  Read more >

Those Fish Fins You Call Hands and Other Evolutionary Quirks
New York Times
Neil Genzlinger
April 8, 2014

The club of scholars named Neil who are good writers and also telegenic is fairly small, with Neil deGrasse Tyson (see “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”) sometimes seeming to be its only member. But let’s not overlook Neil Shubin, a paleontologist who makes an appealing guide to our evolutionary history on “Your Inner Fish,” a three-part exploration, based on his books, that begins on Wednesday on PBS.   Read more >

'Your Inner Fish,' PBS Series Based on Best-Selling Book, Traces Human Evolutionary Roots
Associated Press
Lynn Elber
April 8, 2014

Neil Shubin would like to introduce you to your family tree, the one with roots reaching back more than 3 billion years. In a three-part PBS series debuting Wednesday and based on Shubin's best-selling book, "Your Inner Fish," the paleontologist shares scientific research that connects humans to the early animals that made us what we are today.   Read more >

PBS Series Explores Evolution of 'Your Inner Fish'
USA Today
Traci Watson
April 8, 2014

Paleobiologist Neil Shubin digs up the fossils of extinct animals. Now television is bringing those fossils to life.   

In an episode of Shubin's new PBS series, Your Inner Fish, based on his best-selling book of the same name, he cups a tiny Jurassic reptile called a tritheledont in his palm before it jumps off his hand and meanders across a tabletop. No flesh-and-blood tritheledont has scuttled the Earth for at least 150 million years. But 21st-century computer animation has resurrected the little animal in all its lithe, long-tailed glory for a star turn in Shubin's series, premiering April 9.   Read more >

What Fish Teach Us About Us
The New York Times
Claudia Dreifus
April 7, 2014

To Neil H. Shubin's long resume - paleontologist, molecular biologist, dean and professor of anatomy at the University of Chicago - can now be added "television host." Dr. Shubin, 53, who helped discover the 375-million-year-old fish called Tiktaalik, hailed as a missing link between sea and land animals, will preside over "Your Inner Fish," a three-part series on evolution (based on his book of the same title) that makes its debut Wednesday on PBS.      Read more >

The Journey to Humanity
The New York Times
April 4, 2014

When the paleobiologist Neil Shubin looks at his fellow humans, he sees ghosts of animals past. The wy we grip with our hands? We can thank our primate forefathers. Our ability to hear so many sounds? Distant ancestors the size of a shrew.     Read more >

MIP Picks 2014: 'Your Inner Fish'
Real Screen
March 28, 2014

In his book of the same name, author and paleontologist Neil Shubin posits that the human body as we know it today is the result of 3.5 million years of evolution, and that many of our characteristics can be traced to some rather surprising origins. Now, in a three-part series for PBS, Shubin brings his theories to life.     Read more >

'Cosmos' and 'Your Inner Fish' Pack the 1-2 Punch
Scientific American
March 27, 2014
Kalliopi Monoyios

Two weeks from today, on April 9th, PBS will air the first of a three-part series adapted from Neil Shubin’s popular book, Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year-History of the Human Body. If you’ve ever wondered why we’re built the way we are – with five fingers on each hand, testes that hang outside our bodies, and backs and knees that leave us vulnerable to slipped discs and torn ligaments – this series will take you on a journey of discovery you won’t soon forget.    Read more >

Q & A: Neil Shubin Explores 'Your Inner Fish'
National Geographic News
March 21, 2014
Dan Vergano

Icons of evolution don't come much uglier than Tiktaalik, the land-walking ancient fish from 375 million years ago.

But Tiktaalik was acclaimed as a beautiful scientific discovery when it was announced in 2006 by paleontologist Neil Shubin and his team. The project was partially supported by the National Geographic Society.     Read more >

MIPDoc '13: Tangled Bank Studios is 'Open for Business for Pitches'
Real Screen
April 7, 2013
Kelly Anderson

Michael Rosenfeld, head of television and film for science specialist prodco Tangled Bank Studios, revealed more about the company’s aims during his keynote session at MIPDoc yesterday (April 6).

Tangled Bank Studios launched out of the philanthropical research organization The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) last November with the aim to produce science content for TV, digital, theatrical, and giant screen. Rosenfeld says the prodco’s content will fill what he regards as a gap in science programming in the U.S.     Read more >

Liveblog: Michael Rosenfeld on Reinventing Science Television
April 6, 2013
Stuart Dredge

The best science television is far from dry and worthy. Science documentary maker Michael Rosenfeld, now head of television and film at Tangled Bank Studios, gave some insights into his company’s work in a MIPDoc keynote today, while also explaining how the studio is keen to support other producers with similar ambitions.

Tangled Bank launched last year, and is a studio funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in the US. “It’s a somewhat different model from what is really common in the doc world,” said Rosenfeld. “An effort to engage not just with teachers and students in the classroom, but with the public at large. Our goal was simply to produce great science content.”     Read more >

Tangled Bank Studios Aims to Untangle Mysteries of Science
Real Screen
Nov. 26, 2012
By Kevin Ritchie

Philanthropic research organization the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has launched Tangled Bank Studios, a production company focused on producing science documentary programs. 

Headed by former National Geographic Television (NGT) president Michael Rosenfeld, the editorially independent company is the cornerstone of the Chevy Chase, Maryland-headquartered non-profit’s US $60 million film and television initiative, and will produce around 10 hours of science programming annually for TV, cinemas and digital media.     Read more >

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Launches Documentary Unit
Nov. 26, 2012
By Dave McNary 

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has launched Tangled Bank Studios as a film-TV production company specializing in science documentaries.

Veteran producer Michael Rosenfeld, who joined the institute last year to head its $60 million documentary initiative, is leading Tangled Bank and told Variety that production is under way on a pair of three-hour TV series that will likely air in 2014 on PBS.     Read more >

HHMI Launches Prodco, PBS Projects
C21 Media
Nov. 26, 2012
By Michael Pickard

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has launched a new film and TV production company, with a slate of science and documentary projects lined up for US pubcaster PBS. 

Maryland-based Tangled Bank Studios and its production slate are the first fruits of HHMI’s US$60m investment in content production announced last year, when former National Geographic Television president Michael Rosenfeld was hired to lead the new unit as head of television and film.     Read more >

Tangled Bank Studios Plans Science Documentaries for TV and the Classroom
The Wrap
Nov. 26, 2012
By Lucas Shaw

Doctors, scientists and normal geeks have a new studio to look to: Tangled Bank.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has launched the new production company, which will make science documentaries for the mass public and educational purposes.     Read more >