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EXCLUSIVE: The stories of a sex worker, a poacher hunter, a commando and a modern monk are among those being told in a new docuseries exec produced by Kathryn Bigelow.
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The series will look back at the moment of collective uncertainty that arose in early 2020 and weave together stories of adaptability and perseverance in a dramatic and swiftly changing world.
It will also feature the experiences of a speakeasy owner, a mafioso’s friend, a revolutionary, a futurist, a filmmaker, a migrant family, and a tribal elder – revealing the unexpected, humanizing connections between everyone.
It was created by four filmmakers and showrunners Zein Zubi, Pol Rodriguez, Billy Silva and Guille Isa.
The series has been filmed in Peru, Chile, Russia, Italy, Spain, Iran, Zambia, China, India and the USA, including Creek Nation and New York City. Filmmakers included Guille Isa (Peru), German Berger Hertz (Chile), Rose Bush (NYC), Philomene Remy (India), Alba Sotorra Clua (Spain), Dmitri Vologdin (Russia), Di Shen (China), Jessie Chisi (Zambia), Rakhshan Banietemad (Iran), Kyle Bell (Creek Nation), Corrado Fortuna (Italy).
Zubi told Deadline that filming was a “unique” experience. “As creators and showrunners, we produced the entire series remotely and spent every day, over the course of three months on video calls with 10 different filmmakers from around the world,” she said. “One of the most moving parts of the experience was that, in a time when everyone was forced to isolate, it was inspiring to be able to connect and to collaborate with like-minded people, from completely different parts of the globe, who share our vision of documenting the resiliency of the human spirit during this unprecedented time.”
Zubi added that they worked closely with the 11 filmmakers to find characters whose stories were interesting whether or not they were told against the backdrop of the global pandemic. “It was important to us that our characters represented the diversity of our world, that their stories were unfolding in real time and that the people we chose to film were people in extraordinary situations with stories that relate to the social impact of the pandemic,” she added.
Bigelow is producing alongside Zubi, Rodriguez and Isa as well as Patrick Milling-Smith, Greg Shapiro, William Silva Reddington, Biz Stone, and Namek Zubi.
The stories feature Garry Golden, Carlos Milla, Enrique “Kike” Nuñez Perez, Shushil Kumar, Daniela de Surt, Jade Duarte, Julia Sokolina, Lai Ming, Georgina Kamanga, Timothy Chipesha, Hamid Najafi Rad, Curtis Scott, Salvatore Tranchina & Giuseppe Cusimano.
Liz Tang, Director, Content at Endeavor Content, told Deadline that even though it was set against the backdrop of the last 18 months, it’s not a series about the pandemic. “Each individual story could be a fascinating series in itself; but what is special is how these dynamic, incredible characters, seemingly dissimilar, are all linked by a universal circumstance. We could not be more enthusiastic about our collaboration with Kathryn Bigelow and the Year Zero filmmaking team,” she added.
“Year Zero is premium in its execution, inclusive in its storytelling and global in its reach. The overarching themes of hope and survival, and the contributors’ shared focus on the future, are what make this show truly standout as we all examine our lives a little closer and ask: what is important to us as individuals, as a collective, and how will we all move forward, in Year Zero,” added Kevin Iwashina, SVP, Documentary at Endeavor Content.
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