ZDF Studios and China Media Group to co-produce "Time: A Journey Through Thousands of Years"

It´s their first ever co-production partnership, a two-part documentary about time. It will be distributed by ZDF Studios.


The German company ZDF Studios and Film and the Chinese Drama and Documentary Programming Center of China Media Group (CMG) have announced their first-ever co-production partnership, a two-part documentary on one of the most universal topics, time. It will be two episodes of 50 minutes each, and they will explore the discovery of time, the history of time measurement, and the effect it has on our lives today. Jens Monath and Heike Schmidt are the authors and directors in charge, the same team that created the series "Anthropocene - The Rise of Humans" about the human impact on life on Earth, which won numerous international awards.

Jens Monath, Director and co-writer on the project and Editor for Terra X at ZDF, referred to the challenge involved in composing, in images and sounds, a concept such as time:" It was a challenging project because how do you make time visible for television? We found remarkable stories about time and the perception of time. From a murderer who froze time and probably changed our lives more than anyone else to why time seems to pass faster as you get older. And, more importantly, how do you 'live' longer, in the sense that even as an older person, you can stretch time so that your life feels much longer than it usually does? We answer these questions in stories you have never seen before. And we promise you will think about time differently after watching the films," noted.

Hongyan Liu, the project's Executive Producer for CMG, mentioned cultural differences regarding time and subjectivity: "Time is omnipresent. Nowadays, we talk about it dozens of times every day, rarely pausing to contemplate its true meaning. In China, the observation and exploration of time began over 4,000 years ago, profoundly influencing our culture and way of life. The Chinese perspective on the subject reveals a markedly different understanding of time compared to that of the West. For us at CMG, it was particularly interesting to share the Eastern reflections on the concept of time, including its philosophical and poetic meanings," contemplated.

Ralf Rückauer, Vice President Unscripted, ZDF Studios, added: "We are delighted to partner with CMG and arte on this major production, a fascinating study on something familiar to us all which is so valuable but elusive that mankind can neither capture nor reproduce it," said.

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