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February 8, 2022 4:18 pm

Netflix Partners With Israeli Film School to Cultivate New Talent

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Small toy figures are seen in front of displayed Netflix logo in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration.

Netflix announced on Sunday that it is supporting a new program at a Jerusalem film school that will help up-and-coming creators in the field of scripted television learn from and present their work to industry leaders.

Since 2011, the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School has hosted a popular Film Lab that produced a number of well-known alumni, including László Nemes, the Hungarian director of the Oscar-winning film “Son of Saul”; Abner Benaim, the director behind Panama’s official entry in the 2022 Academy Awards, “Plaza Catedral”; and Croatian director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, whose feature debut “Murina” won the Camera d’Or at Cannes.

The program has now expanded to include a Series Lab, geared at providing Israeli producers and writers who are developing a promising scripted series with mentorship and artistic guidance from leading figures in Israeli and international television.

Hagai Levi, the TV creator and producer behind “Scenes From a Marriage,” “In Treatment,” and “The Affair,” has joined the new JSFL Series Lab as an artistic advisor. Mentors includes Daphna Levin (“Euphoria,” “In Treatment”) and Noah Stollman (“Fauda,” “Our Boys”). 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.

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The Series Lab will be launched in Jerusalem with the support of Netflix and VIS Social Impact, ViacomCBS International Studios’ new production division, and will conclude with participants screening their projects to industry players. One project will be given Netflix’s new Series Development Award, which will provide the creators with a grant to help develop the project. Netflix will also cover entry fees for all participants.

The program is open to all talent including those whose first language is Arabic, Amharic, Russian, Yiddish, and Hebrew.

Larry Tanz, vice president of EMEA Scripted Series at Netflix, applauded the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School for having “a strong track record of developing local creatives,” and said the new program “aims to help exceptional new voices tell authentic local stories that connect globally.”

Aurit Zamir, director of the JSFL Film Lab, said the Series Lab was “developed with the aim of supporting promising wide-ranging voices from Israel with the belief that local stories have an appeal despite differences of language and culture.”

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