Show biz buzz

INTV to bring Hollywood brainpower to Jerusalem

Third annual conference sponsored by media powerhouse Keshet will kick off with Israeli premiere of Gideon Raff’s ‘DIG’

Avi Nir, CEO of Keshet. (photo credit: Courtesy of Keshet)
Avi Nir, CEO of Keshet. (photo credit: Courtesy of Keshet)

Jerusalem is gearing up for an injection of Hollywood brainpower in March.

Keshet Media Group, the Israeli television powerhouse behind programs like “Homeland” and its Israeli predecessor “Prisoners of War,” has announced the slate of visitors and speakers for its third annual Innovation in Television conference, including Bruce Tuchman, the president of AMC Global and Sundance Channel Global; Stephen Friedman, the president of MTV Networks; and the Golden Globe-winning writers of “The Affair,” Hagai Levi and Sarah Treem.

The INTV conference will be held March 15-16 at the Jerusalem YMCA, and will be co-hosted by Keshet CEO Avi Nir and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. The festivities will kick off one night earlier, however, with the March 14 Israeli premiere of “DIG,” the new thriller from “Homeland” writer Gideon Raff, which is set within the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City and will premiere on the American network USA on March 5.

“Harry Potter” actor Jason Isaacs, who stars in “DIG,” will also be on hand for the premiere, which will be followed up by an INTV event entitled “Digging Deeper,” in which both Raff and Isaacs will give a behind-the-scenes look at how the show was created.

“INTV” is a two-day conference, now in its third year, that brings top leaders and creatives from the show business industry to Jerusalem for a series of talks, interviews, and brainstorming sessions. The event aims to tap the specifically Israeli brand of creativity that has created such international TV successes “Homeland,” “In Treatment,” “Rising Star” and “MICE/Gordin Cell,” a trend that Keshet, as a company, as helped lead.

“Three years ago, we aimed to create a global platform to openly discuss the dual effect of creativity and technological progress on television,” said Nir. “Today, there have indeed been significant shifts in the television landscape due to immensely innovative ideas and new digital frontiers. We are pleased to witness ideas that were discussed and sometimes conceived at INTV come to life.”

Other big names set to attend the conference are Jacob Shwirtz, the chief social media officer of Endemol Beyond USA; Shaul Olmert, the co-founder and CEO of Playbuzz; Ari Shavit, journalist and author of the best-selling book “My Promised Land”; Richard Plepler, CEO and chairman of HBO; Rick Rosen, board member and head of television at WME; and filmmaker Porter Erisman, who wrote, directed and produced “Crocodile in the Yangtze,” an independent documentary memoir film about the eight years he spent at China’s Alibaba Group.

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