Docs

On the Slate: Gruppe 5 & Pilot

From a cheeky chef to a controversial conqueror: it's the latest projects from Pilot Film and Television Productions and Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion GmbH.
October 23, 2008

When you find a charismatic presenter, don’t let go. At least that’s the philosophy of London-based Pilot Productions when it comes to Bobby Chin. Chin is the presenter of the travel food program World Café Asia, which follows Chin to various Asian destinations as he checks out the local food culture. Capitalizing on the demand for food based content and programs about Asia, as well as the enthusiastic response to World Café Asia, the prodco is starting production on World Café Asia 2 and a spin off program, Bobby Chin Cooks Asia.

In coproduction with Discovery International, World Café Asia Series 2 will take a high paced approach to the streets of Jakarta, Malacca, Calcutta and Sri Lanka, discovering the history of the areas through their approaches to food. Combining travel doc with cooking show, the 8 x 26′ series, due to wrap in the spring of 2009, examines the street food culture of Asian cities while also checking out the night life and hot spots in each region. Meanwhile, the spin off will take a more traditional approach to food programs seeing Chin demonstrate how to cook Asian cuisine

While Pilot is busy traveling Asia, Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion GmbH is hitting Europe, North America and Asia with its new projects.

Together with National Geographic US, ZDF and ARTE, Gruppe 5 ponders what Europe and North America looked like before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in a project tentatively called Clash of Cultures. Due to wrap in fall 2009, the two hour doc uses CGI, dramatizations and ecological footage to explain how the voyage of a few ships across the Atlantic 600 years ago changed life on both continents forever.

Over one hundred years later in Asia another life changing event took place. The construction of India’s Taj Mahal. ‘To do a Taj Mahal film without the love story and fighting and murder wouldn’t make sense,’ says Gruppe 5 principal Uwe Kersken. Using dramatization, CGI as well as traditional documentary forms, the film looks at both the physical construction of the mausoleum, asking modern day architects to weigh in on its complexity, as well as the compelling story behind the its construction. In association with National Geographic Channel and ZDF the roughly €500,000 doc is due to wrap in February, 2009.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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