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“Z Format Factory to incubate fresh Ideas for international audience” says Sunita Uchil

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Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) unveiled Z Format Factory at MIPCOM 2016, which is an incubator to develop new formats for international markets. Sunita Uchil, the company’s chief business officer for international ad sales, global syndication and production, says the initiative “has been a natural evolution for us. We have been in the TV storytelling business for over 20 years now. We have a rich legacy of content creation and development. Our channels have been producing content for the discerning audience in our diverse and fascinating country.

Sunita Uchil, the chief business officer for international ad sales, global syndication and production at Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) has revealed to an international media magazine stating that Z Format Factory is set to incubate fresh Ideas that will be exploited in Local as well as in the international markets.

“Given the success at home, we are now looking at making the same formats available for a mainstream international audience, and thus, the idea to create Z Format Factory” said Sunita Uchil.

Zee has already developed format bibles for some of its successful scripted and non-scripted shows, including Dance India Dance, a reality competition show; the sitcom Hum Paanch, known as Freaky Five internationally; Moksha, a modernized version of an Indian game show from the 1990s based on Snakes and Ladders; and Love Thy Neighbor. Uchil calls the latter a “rib-tickling comedy about two distinctly different couples who in good humor flirt with each other’s wives.”

The company is also developing new formats for the international market, including Phantasmagoria and The Eclipse Harvest. Phantasmagoria features 12 surreal stories based on the zodiac signs, while The Eclipse Harvest is a dark scripted story about two men who are born on either side of the law. “Each story has a twist sure to send a shiver down your spine,” Uchil says.

“We are happy with the initial response we have received,” Uchil reports. “There’s a market out there [that is] definitely ready to experiment with new ideas. We expect our scripted shows to do well in Asia and Latin America. Our newer formats with strong story lines are being received well in the Western markets.”

Uchil believes Zee is a good home for the format concepts that are being generated by Z Format Factory. “Our flair to adapt and create for different audiences makes us a good creative home to grow and develop formats,” she says. “Storytelling and entertaining on television is our business. We operate over 20 successful channels churning [out] at least six hours of original content on a daily basis.” Zee also has a presence in 171 countries around the world, with 35 international channels. “We understand content and the needs of different age groups in varied geographies,” she says.

As the year progresses, Uchil expects to receive more feedback regarding the company’s formats. “Our next steps will be defined by the demand and expectations from the market. We certainly look forward to also co-developing formats with the best in the industry.”