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June 22, 2022 2:12 pm

Netflix CEO Tells Israeli Film, TV Students in Jerusalem: ‘Great Stories Can Come From Anywhere’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos in conversation with Shira Haas at Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School. Photo: Yossi Zvkar/Sam Spiegel Film and Television School.

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos spoke to students at Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School on Tuesday night in a conversation moderated by Israeli actress Shira Haas.

“We are looking for local, authentic stories,” Sarandos told the “Unorthodox” star. His visit to the school took place after Netflix announced in February that it will support young Israeli creators in the field of scripted television for the first time as part of the school’s new Series Lab program.

During their discussion, Sarandos told Haas that global audiences are growing more interested in international stories, noting that some of the streaming giant’s biggest hits are not in English, including South Korea’s “Squid Game,” the Spanish “Money Heist,” and the French production “Lupin.”

“People are much more interested and open to new things, and language is no longer a barrier,” he said. “In the end, great stories can come from anywhere, and there are universal issues that are simply relevant to the human condition.”

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He also told Sam Spiegel students: “All it takes is a community, and if we learned anything tonight it is that the world needs you. Your projects are going to change the world. It may take a year, it may take a decade. But it will happen. That’s why we are so proud of this relationship with you, the first of its kind.”

Last year, the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School was named for the fifth year in a row by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the best film and television schools in the world.

Dana Blankstein-Cohen, the school’s director, remarked, “Netflix understands that tremendous talent is growing here and Sarandos expressed great interest and curiosity in what was happening at the school, in developing a stylistic and personal perception through in-depth educational processes, acquiring broad knowledge and imparting storytelling skills to students.”

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