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Eight Israeli TV projects chosen for Netflix-backed Sam Spiegel ‘series lab’

Streaming giant will help writers develop stories of Israeli reality, with support from TV creators Hagai Levi, Jill Condon

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Israeli and American TV creators from left, Noah Stollman, Dafna Levine, Ronit Weiss, Jill Condon and Hagai Levi, at the start of the Sam Spiegel Series Lab  in June 2022 (Courtesy Sam Spiegel)
Israeli and American TV creators from left, Noah Stollman, Dafna Levine, Ronit Weiss, Jill Condon and Hagai Levi, at the start of the Sam Spiegel Series Lab in June 2022 (Courtesy Sam Spiegel)

Eight Israeli projects were selected for the first edition of the Sam Spiegel Series Lab supported by Netflix, telling stories of Israeli reality that range from a comedy set in the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum to a millennial Israeli-Palestinian couple.

The creators include a filmmaker who has premiered at Cannes, an Ophir Prize winner and a writer with a successful first series.

The three-session lab will include mentoring by Noah Stollman (“Our Boys,” “Someone to Run With”), Daphna Levine (“Euphoria,” “Fifty,” “In Treatment”), Ronit Weiss (“The Girl from Oslo”), Keren Margalit (“Yellow Peppers,” “The A Word,” “Sleeping Bears”) and Series Lab artistic adviser Hagai Levi (“Scenes from a Marriage,” “In Treatment,” “Our Boys”).

“The new lab will further the JSFL mission of bringing exceptional voices to the screen, through supporting young artists and professionals, now not only in film but also in scripted television,” said Aurit Zamir, director of the JSFL Film Labs.

Eight scripts were chosen, including “Urban Legends” by Nir Berger and Rani Avidan (Berger, with Atara Frish, created Kan’s “Dismissed,” also known as “Hamefakedet”).

Omri Van Essen, who has worked on “Tehran,” wrote “3rd Generation” with Tehila Peter-Dansker with production by Paran Studios.

Other projects include “Non-Issue,” written by Nayef Hammoud and Gal Rosenbluth and produced by Herzliya Studios, and “Territory X,” written by Benjamin Freidenberg and Ihab Jadallah.

Streaming giant Netflix is supporting the inaugural Series Lab being launched by Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film School.

The Series Lab follows Sam Spiegel’s internationally acclaimed Film Lab, currently in its 10th year, both following Sam Spiegel’s long track record of nurturing local talent.

The project will also receive support from VIS Social Impact, ViacomCBS International Studios’ new cause-driven production division.

One exceptional project in the program will receive the new Netflix Series Development Award. Through Grow Creative, Netflix’s flagship global training and development program, producer and screenwriter Jill Condon (“Friends”) will lead workshops on script development and mentor the participants.

London-based Westend Films, run by Israeli producers Sharon Harel and Maya Amsellem, will grant an award in support of a storyteller with a unique voice.

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