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ZDF Enterprises and Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion announce nomination of documentary “Secrets of the Taj Mahal” for U.S. Emmy®Awards

Mainz, 25 July 2012

ZDF Enterprises and Uwe Kersken’s Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion are proud to announce that their documentary “Secrets of the Taj Mahal” (1 x 50’ HD) has been nominated for the 33rd annual News & Documentary Emmy®Award in the category Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Lighting Direction & Scenic Design – Stephan Koester, by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Aired in the U.S. on the Smithsonian Channel, the program is competing with documentaries from NBC and CNN. The awards ceremony will be held on 1 October 2012.

"Secrets of the Taj Mahal" focuses on the most fundamental symbol of India, a monument to a grand passion. It is the story of the mighty 17th-century Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and of his undying love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. We witness magnificent ceremonies at court, peek into the secret world of the harem, and accompany Shah Jahan on a military campaign. The construction of the Taj Mahal – ordered by Shah Jahan after the death of his beloved wife – is depicted in a combination of documentary elements, re-enactments and CGI.

Experts such as Prof. Ebba Koch and New Delhi historian Prof. Najif Haider explain the significance of the monument's architecture. By penetrating deep into the symbolism of the Taj Mahal, the film deciphers its spiritual code as a testimony to a never-ending love.

“Secrets of the Taj Mahal” is part of the “Great India” cycle (2 x 50’ HD), distributed worldwide by ZDF Enterprises, which looks at two great moments of India’s past to show us to what point the subcontinent nation can implement change and realize tremendous accomplishments: the sweeping social and religious reforms of Ashoka, “Buddha’s Warior,” and the construction of one of the world’s architectural wonders, the Taj Mahal.

The film is written by Stephan Koester and Alexander Hogh, directed by Stephan Koester, and produced by Christian Feyerabend. Uwe Kersken is the Executive Producer.


About Uwe Kersken and Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion GmbH

Uwe Kersken, Producer / Executive Producer, was born in 1949. He has a degree in psychology and psychotherapy, began working as a TV producer in 1985, is the author and director of documentary films with a focal point in the fields of history, science, culture, society and nature for the German and international TV market. Uwe Kersken is managing partner of Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion GmbH headquartered in Cologne; the other shareholders are ZDF Enterprises, Doclights Studio Hamburg and Christel Fomm. Uwe Kersken is producer and Executive Producer of all films and series for primetime. Since 2006 he has been a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is also active as a lecturer, and initiated and conceived the Cologne International Film School’s Non Fiction Master Class, which he has been responsible for since 2009.

In addition to many one-hour programs, the following episodic programs were also produced in recent years, including: “The Jews – History of a People,” “The Teutons,” “Update – The World in 50 Years,” “Super Comet,” “Welcome to China”(incl. “China’s Forbidden City,” “China’s Great Wall,” “Tyrant and Visionary – China’s First Emperor”), “Great India,” “The Battle Against Rome” (The Battle  of the Teutoburg Forest), “South Africa – The Land Of Hope” (history of South Africa) as well as “America before Columbus.” The greatest successes were obtained with the China program highlight as well as with the first season of “The Germans” and “Superstructures” for the ZDF. “Dawn of the Ocean” was produced in 2010 as well as the second season of “The Germans,” the series about Egypt for “Terra X” as well as the docu-drama “Adenauer” for ARD in 2011. Currently in production are the three-parter “Superstructures II (WT),” the six-part “Women who made History (WT)” as well as “Beloved Enemy” (10 episodes on the history of Franco-German relations).


About ZDF Enterprises

Founded in 1993, ZDF Enterprises GmbH is the wholly-owned subsidiary and commercial arm of ZDF German Television Network, one of Europe's largest and most respected broadcasters. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the development, production and global distribution of quality original programming. The company is also responsible for all program acquisitions and international co-productions on behalf of the network, and acquires programming for world-wide distribution. Its vast program library ranks as the largest in the German anguage. The extensive catalogue includes television movies and mini-series, drama series and comedies, documentaries, family entertainment and children's programming. ZDF Enterprises also oversees all licensing and merchandising activities based on its high-profile programs, including book and music publishing and the licensing of its program properties in all key product categories. Committed to the future, ZDF Enterprises has embarked on numerous New Media initiatives, ranging from opportunities within the burgeoning e-commerce industry to the creation of themed edutainment dimensions featuring the recognized program brands with which ZDF has become synonymous.

Contact ZDF Enterprises

Christine Denilauler (Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications), Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, D-55127 Mainz/Germany, tel.: +49 6131-9911130, fax: +49 6131-9912130, e-mail:,


Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany