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Zonsta Creation to co-produce TV show with kids from 20 countries

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MUMBAI: An Indian production house has bagged the mandate for the one of the largest ever TV series co-productions involving 20 countries. Mumbai-based Zonsta Creation will create a 20-part TV series called We Can Raise The World that will examine how children from 20 countries perceive the world in the aftermath of events such as 9/11, the US-Iraq conflict and Kargil war.

While speaking to indiantelevision.com, Zonsta Creation officials confirmed that they have received the go-ahead from 20 countries including some from: the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Asian sub-continent. These countries will support Zonsta Creation's effort and air the series after it is completed towards the end of 2004. The production house will commence shooting on location in October 2003. Each of the episodes will be of 30-minute duration and will be shot in different countries.

Zonsta Creation creative director RA Mahima says: "The non-fiction TV series will have children as the main protagonists. It will seek to examine the impact of recent global events on young impressionable minds. However, it will be very down-to-earth and a mix of fun, adventure, mystery and travel. The children will express their views on the current state of affairs and will also talk the kind of world that they would love to live in."

Mahima became the only Indian to participate in the two summits on the 'impact of television on children' held in Europe. The decision to make such a TV series was taken during the course of the summits. "Representatives of several countries adopted the resolution without much discussions as they felt the need for something like this. The summits held in Greece and Italy were supported by international bodies such as the United Nations. In fact, our series becomes relevant because the UN has declared the decade starting 2001 as the 'International Decade for the Culture of Peace and Non-violence for Children', " says Mahima.

However, the Indian government isn't a part of this project as yet; however Zonsta Creation officials will be approaching the government officials soon. "It will be great if the Indian government and the national broadcaster Doordarshan agree to become a part of the programme simply because so many countries are participating. We would welcome support from the government in terms of financial support or infrastructure or technical expertise. It would be great if Doordarshan buys the broadcasting rights."

Mahima says that they could cover more countries depending on the response to the first installment of the 20-part show.

Zonsta Creation has been doing non-fiction TV shows since the last 12 years. It has already created shows for foreign broadcasters: I am Rishi, a series on Down's Syndrome for Singapore TV; a series of films on Ripley's Believe It or Not for TVS; Indian Women Entrepreneurs for CNN; Who am I, a series on the astronomical science of 'Nadi Shashtra' for a French channel.

For Zee Television, Zonsta Creation has done a 13-part half an hour episodic show on the theme of 'supernatural' called Ananth. Zonsta Creations will be doing a continuous series on witchcraft for a private channel. Mahima says that the attempt will be to treat 'paranormal' in a positive light. "It will have a little bit of fiction due to the commercial aspect. But the attempt will be to avoid any kind of sensationalism."

Zonsta Creation has also done work for the national broadcaster Doordarshan - a series called Parivar Seva Sanstha; and NTPC power plant documentary in joint collaboration for the Germany based RCI. The production house officials Mahima and KS Rajesekhar have been visiting Cannes since the last four years in addition to the MIPTV and MIPCOM events. The company has been selling its non-fiction catalogue at such fora.

At present, however, the entire technical and creative team of Zonsta Creation is gearing up for the challenging task of co-producing We Can Raise The World.

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