Sunita Uchil, recently appointed to the role of EVP of International Co-Development and Co-Production at Zee Entertainment, spoke to ttvnews about the company’s international co-production strategy.
With 26 years of experience in production of dramas, Zee Entertainment is now seeking to grow on the international market through co-production alliances.
To this end, in June of this year the company appointed Sunita Uchil to the role of EVP of Co-Development and Co-Production for the International market, who was previously Chief Business Officer of International Ad Sales and Global Syndication for the company.
Under her new role, Uchil will work with international producers to develop scripted and non-scripted content.
The strategy began a while back for Zee, which has managed to generate remakes of its series in the Middle East to great success and is now working on the first local production in Africa.
“Our strength is drama and Zee has a vast content library. We are happy to be producing Deceptive Measures in Africa, the adaptation of Indian series Pavitra Rishta (Sacred Ties),” Sunita Uchil said to ttvnews.
Pavitra Rishta (Sacred Ties) is an Indian telenovela from 2009, which aired locally and internationally to great success, with sales to more than 22 countries. In Africa it’s being produced for Nigeria and Ghana with Mace Entertainment and Multimedia Group.
“It’s being produced in English and it’s totally customized for the local market. Its look and feel is completely African,” she said.
But the strategy isn’t limited to Africa and the Middle East,
Pero la estrategia no se limita a África y Medio Oriente, con América Latina como uno de los principales objetivos, reveló Uchil.
“We are in conversations and hope to be able to land a local remake, because our stories are very similar to Latin American’s,” she said.
“We had already been in talks in the past and we even sold a format to one of the biggest broadcasters in the region, but they haven’t produced the local version yet,” she added.
According to the executive, Zee’s model is based on finding local partners to then choose stories together. “We would provide the story and the tech, but we need a local partner first, because we want to produce stories that are relevant for local audiences and who better than the region’s networks to know what thay is. It wouldn’t work without a local partner.”