|Director||Linda Goldstein Knowlton|
Linda Hawkins Costigan
The World According to Sesame Street is a documentary exploring the globalization of Sesame Street and how each regional version of the show is carefully tailored according to the specific issues facing that territory. The film premiered on January 21, 2006 at the Sundance Film Festival.
The film also had a special screening at the Museum of TV & Radio in NYC (now the Paley Center For Media) on October 13, 2006. The event was attended by the film's two directors, several Sesame Workshop employees and Muppeteer Martin P. Robinson along with his character Telly Monster. Robinson is prominently featured in the film, training puppeteers for the various international Sesame Street co-productions.
On October 24, 2006, the film aired as a presentation of the PBS program Independent Lens, in a slightly edited form.
The film follows three teams as they plan and develop three different Sesame Street co-productions: Sisimpur in Bangladesh, Rruga Sesam — Ulica Sezam in Kosovo, and Takalani Sesame in South Africa. It documents the struggles the creators have to get the shows on the air, as they deal with everything from natural disasters, war, and lack of funding, to political fighting between opposing parties. During the film, Joan Ganz Cooney reflects on how the civil unrest and cultural turmoil in America during the 1960s led her and her colleagues to do something to help poor children get ready for school. Clips from the Sesame Street Pitch Reel and Episode 0001 are shown. A few years after this, the German co-production of Sesamstrasse began, and the film returns to the three new co-productions being profiled in the film, as the latest Sesame shows that are trying to make a difference in the lives of children all over the world.