ZDF Enterprises and Uwe Kersken launch the joint venture G5 fiction
Renowned producer to develop original fiction projects for ZDF Enterprises
ZDF Enterprises and the internationally renowned and multiple award-winning executive producer Uwe Kersken have joined forces to establish the joint venture G5 fiction. Both partners have been successfully collaborating for many years now; Uwe Kersken is co-founder and longtime managing partner of the Cologne based production company Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion. He resigned his post as general manager effective April 1st, 2014 in order to fully devote himself to his new endeavours.
At G5 fiction as of now, and in conjunction with ZDF Enterprises, Uwe Kersken is responsible for the development, financing, production and licensing rights of top-quality, original drama programs (miniseries, long-running series and event productions) with a solid German and international market potential. At the forefront are topics with historical backgrounds; however, projects from other genres are not excluded. Uwe Kersken develops the concepts of these projects.
Within the new structure, Uwe Kersken and his team are presently working on more than 15 projects which he will be dedicating himself to, all of which will involve ZDF Enterprises. Among the first projects of G5 fiction for the international market are the series "Alexander the Great," with Michael Hirst ("The Tudors," "Vikings") as showrunner and author, which is being developed jointly with Beta Film and is currently in the financing phase; the miniseries "Ellis Island," written by Konrad Jay and Dario Poloni with Michael Hirst as script supervisor, and coproduced by World 2000 Entertainment ("The Tudors") and Octagon films ("Borgia"); as well as the miniseries "Dona Gracia" (The Woman Who Fought the Inquisition), whose script and bible by author Gavin Scott are financed by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. For the German-language market, G5 fiction is currently developing several miniseries, two TV movies and a feature film, whereby comprehensive agreements with various German broadcasters have already been forged.
The goal of G5 fiction is to create an international bridge linking in particular the U.S. and well-known creative partners abroad with co-producers in Germany to create fiction programs of various formats and in various constellations: abroad with well-known companies such as World 2000 Entertainment, Octagon Films, DRG, Marsh Entertainment (Sherry Marsh - "Vikings"), Joss Communication, (William J. MacDonald – "Rome") Mythicfilms (Ralph Hemecker – "Numb3rs," "Blue Bloods," "Once upon a Time") Shaftesbury, Don Carmody, and in Germany with, for example, Beta Film, Studio Hamburg Produktion Gruppe, Zeitsprung, Network Movie and Bavaria Fernsehproduktion, to name a few.
Fred Burcksen, Executive VP and COO at ZDF Enterprises: "We are very pleased to enter into this new type of collaboration with Uwe Kersken. He is managing top-of-the-line fictional projects for us, from the conception and development of ideas to the financing, pre-production, production and licensing of our projects. It's wonderful to be able to cooperate on a new level with this impressively creative colleague whom we have known and admired now for many years."
Uwe Kersken, G5 fiction: "For about two years now I've been particularly interested in the development of drama projects. The reason for this is simple: over the years, I had produced high-end documentaries for German and international broadcasters who kept demanding more and more superior-quality drama elements.
To be honest, I didn't think that we would be talking about a successful collaboration so soon. Without the support of ZDF Enterprises and the aforementioned partners, it would certainly not have been possible. Success invigorates, and thus I am eagerly looking forward to many wonderful years ahead and am excited about working together with German and international artists."
About ZDF Enterprises
ZDF Enterprises was founded in 1993 as a commercial subsidiary of ZDF, one of the largest and most renowned TV broadcasters in Europe. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the worldwide sale of programs, the making of international coproductions, the acquisition of licenses as well as the merchandising of strong program brands in its own name, for the ZDF, and for third parties. ZDF Enterprises has successfully established itself as an independent market player on the German and international stage. Bound into a strong group, the company manages the largest German-language stock of programs in the world and, next to this, a continuously growing portfolio of international productions consisting of series and miniseries, TV movies, documentaries and children’s programs. In the course of the development and diversification process carried out up to now, many business fields in the television and media domains were made accessible in the ZDF Enterprises group. Thus ZDF Enterprises can provide a comprehensive, full-service offering today, and covers every step in the chain of origin and exploitation of successful TV programs, from development to production and up to the marketing of TV licenses, merchandising rights, online rights and much more.
Contact ZDF Enterprises
Christine Denilauler (Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, D-55127 Mainz/Germany, Tel.: +49 6131-9911130, Fax: +49 6131-9912130, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.zdf-enterprises.de.
Uwe Kersken and G5 fiction
Uwe Kersken, Producer / Executive Producer, was born in 1949 and obtained degrees in psychology and psychotherapy. Since 1985 he has been a TV producer, author and director of documentary films with a focus on history, science, culture, society, and nature programs for the German and international TV market. Kersken was managing partner of the Cologne-based Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion GmbH, producing and executive-producing all of Gruppe 5's primetime films and series. Since 2006 he has been a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is also active as a lecturer, and he initiated and conceived the master class in non-fiction at the International Film School in Cologne; he has been managing and organizing these master classes since 2009.
Next to many one-hour productions, a number of programs in several parts have also been produced in recent years, such as "The Jews – A People’s History,” “Storm over Europe,“ "Update - The World in 50 Years,“ "Armageddon,“ "Welcome to China (incl. "The Forbidden City,“ "Chinas' Great Wall,“ "The Secret of the First Emperor"), "The Battle Against Rome", as well as " America Before Columbus." The most successful of these were the programs focusing on China and the two seasons of "The Germans" for ZDF. In 2010 "Dawn of the Ocean" was produced with Frank Schätzing, and in 2011 the series on Egypt for "Terra X" along with the docudrama "Adenauer" for ARD. This was followed by such productions as the six-part full drama "Women Who Made History" and the ten-part show "Beloved Enemy – 1000 Years of German and French Relations"; "Secret World of the Ancients" for ZDF and arte. Currently in production are seven films about the history of Southwest Germany (SWR). The feature film "Planet Germany," subsidized by DFFF and Film und Medienstiftung NRW, and supported by WDR and NDR, is premiering in September 2014.
Contact G5 fiction
G5 fiction – a division of ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, 55127 Mainz/Germany, T +49 (0) 6131 · 991 - 12 40/1, F +49 (0) 6131 · 991 - 22 40, Christina.Rose@G5fiction.com; www.g5fiction.com.