‘Sesame’ impact felt

Doc's focus to include Kosovo, Bangladesh, S. Africa

HOLLYWOOD — Participant Prods. and International Street Prods. will produce “The World According to Sesame Street,” a doc that examines the program’s history and cultural impact.

Linda Goldstein Knowlton and Linda Hawkins will direct and produce the project, with Participant chairman-CEO Jeff Skoll as executive producer.

Doc will focus on Kosovo, Bangladesh, South Africa and El Salvador, four of the 20 countries that create their own versions of the show in conjunction with Sesame Workshop.

The program will examine the impact of an HIV-positive Muppet in persuading South Africa to address the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic; the creation of a strong female character that challenged gender roles in Egypt; and programming designed to foster cross-cultural tolerance in post-conflict Kosovo.

Knowlton’s producing credits include “Whale Rider” and “The Shipping News.” Hawkins has directed and produced for companies including CBS, Fox and Animal Planet.

Participant recently signed a two-picture deal with Warner Bros. Pictures for “Syriana,” which stars George Clooney and Matt Damon, and Niki Caro’s “Class Action,” which stars Charlize Theron.

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