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HHMI Tangled Bank Studios

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is the largest private nonprofit supporter of science education and life science research in the U.S. More than 30 HHMI scientists have won the Nobel Prize – more than any country in the world. HHMI saw the opportunity to start a science film production company as an extension of its longstanding commitment to science education. 

Through Azure Media’s extensive identity, positioning, and project development analysis, Tangled Bank Studios – a reference to the final paragraph of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species – launched with the “power of story” positioning and the mandate to effect social impact. Focusing on the life sciences, their projects are based on the power of a story, its scientific and societal importance, and the project’s potential for impact. They center around four main themes: Pioneers of Science, Frontiers of Medicine, The Health of Our Planet, and Countering Denialism. Films have tracked major biomedical advances such as the inside story of the race for the COVID vaccine and the prospect of ending the HIV epidemic in America and underscored the need for biodiversity such as the rejuvenation of species in Gorongosa National Park and the ongoing threat of mass extinction. Tangled Bank Studios has produced groundbreaking science documentaries for broadcast on PBS, NOVA, Nature, POV, Smithsonian, and for theatrical release, digital streaming, and IMAX/Giant Screens. The studio’s films have won Emmy, Jackson Wild Media, Wildscreen Panda, and AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, and have been nominated for an Academy Award. The feature-length films are also complemented by educational shorts and materials for the classroom, providing an ongoing positive impact on teachers and students on these critical topics.

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