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March 16, 2023 9:00 am

New Israeli TV Show ‘Innermost’ Shares First Look Ahead of World Premiere at Series Mania


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A first look at “Innermost.” Photo: Black Sheep Film Productions

A new television series by multi-award winning Israeli director Yaron Shani that will make its world premiere next week revealed first-look images and a video clip from the upcoming show.

Innermost, Shani’s debut television series, focuses on six intertwined personal stories portrayed by a cast of non-professional actors. The characters include a soon-to-be father and police officer whose reputation is at risk. He is played by Eran Naim, a former officer himself who also starred in Shani’s debut feature film Ajami. The other characters in Innermost are a young upcoming writer who must overcome a traumatic experience and an aspiring musician who goes against his parents in pursing his passion.

Innermost dives into a multi-layered reality of violence and grace, storming under the calm blanket of modernity in contemporary Tel Aviv, and discovers how different fates intertwine in the fabric of life,” according to a synopsis of the show.

The show, produced by Black Sheep Film Productions, was conceived, written and directed by Shani. His film Ajami was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Academy Awards and won 15 international awards.

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Shani has cast non-professional actors in his past projects as well and talked to The Algemeiner about why he prefers their performance on camera over professional actors, especially when it came to filming Innermost.

“Unlike the well-known work with professionals which aims to achieve a strong and ‘authentic’ performance, the work with non-professionals was thrilling because everything about them was so honest, so raw, and always surprising,” he explained. “The year-long preparations and the year-long shooting [for Innermost] constantly changed my perspective about the stories and the characters. It was an emotional rollercoaster. The editing process was not like exploring a make-believe act, which was pre-scripted and rehearsed. I had on my editing table more than 380 hours of very intense and raw drama. It was like touching these stories for the first time.”

Shani also said that he filmed the six stories portrayed in Innermost chronologically, “like they would have happened in the real world.” The cast also did not meet before filming.

“The six stories happened in the ‘reality’ we constructed. The year-long shooting was chronological,” he added. “The challenge was to plan the shootings so that when two characters meet, the meeting would come after they’ve experienced their individual story lines. That means that they’ve never met each other before. The two actors’ first meeting ever was in front of the camera. This huge chronological ‘game’ helped the actors feel exceptionally strong and personal emotions.”

The first two episodes of Innermost will premiere in the International Panorama section of Series Mania, which will take place in Lille, France, from March 17-24.

Watch a first look clip from Innermost below.

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