Tangled Bank Studios, new doc house, opens as part of Howard Hughes Medical Institute

By Dru Sefton

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a nonprofit research and philanthropic organization based in Chevy Chase, Md., is getting into the documentary arena. It announced today the launch of its own Tangled Bank Studios, a film and production company that is already at work “in close collaboration with PBS” on two science documentaries, it said in a statement.

Heading the new company is Executive Producer Michael Rosenfeld, a former president of National Geographic Television.

The docs under way are the three-part Your Inner Fish, produced in collaboration with the U.K. production company Windfall Films, a science adventure tale about how the lives of our ancient ancestors shaped modern human anatomy; and The Quest to Map the World, also a three-part series, produced with National Geographic Television, telling the story of how scientists and explorers mapped the planet.

Off the Fence, an independent distribution company based in Amsterdam, will distribute the films internationally as part of an exclusive deal to license, sell and raise co-production financing for Tangled Bank Studios’ projects.

The $60 million film initiative was initially announced in May 2011.

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