BBC Studios NHU Pacts with James Reed, Underdog Films


BBC Studios Natural History Unit has entered into a one-year development pact with Underdog Films and its founder, James Reed, who directed the Academy Award-winning My Octopus Teacher.

Underdog Films, which Reed leads with his creative partner, Matt Houghton, also produced Jago—A Life Underwater and Chasing Ocean Giants. It currently has a range of projects at various stages for Netflix, Channel 4, Film4, National Geographic and others.

Jonny Keeling, the head of BBC Studios Natural History Unit, noted, “Character and emotional storytelling are at the heart of filmmaking both at the NHU and Underdog Films, so we look forward to developing a number of original, ambitious and compelling natural history features for audiences across the globe. I’m hugely excited to welcome James and Matt’s input and perspectives to the NHU’s creative development process and can’t wait to start working with them.”

Reed, managing director of Underdog Films, added, “We are very excited to get into this with the NHU. They’ve been at the forefront of natural history filmmaking for decades and their further growth in the feature doc market will be a fantastic development for the industry as a whole.”

Houghton noted, “Collaboration and successful partnerships are a key part of Underdog Films’ approach to filmmaking and we’re delighted to be working with the talented storytellers of the NHU. The team has exciting, ambitious plans and we’re looking forward to contributing to stories that will be entertaining, enlightening and thought-provoking.”