EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has unveiled the winner of the $20,000 Israeli Series Development Award following a week in which it has deepened ties with the nation.
At a ceremony last night to mark the end of the Scripted Israel event in LA, which has been attended by Netflix top brass and senior Israeli talent, Mindi Ehrlich’s Insignificant was crowned winner by Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos.
The show was described as “a powerful story with an inspiring protagonist” by a jury comprised of Andrew McQuinn (Director Overall Deals, Netflix), Samantha Blanco ( Manager TV Licensing and Co Productions EMEA, Netflix) and Gregory Noveck (VP, Original Programming, Paramount).
“The project balances a compelling personal story with an engaging narrative and a global appeal, while bringing an untold story to light,” they added.
Meanwhile, the $10,000 West End Upcoming Talent Award was given to Wafa by Benjamin Friedenberg and Ihab Jadallah.
The awards came as a result of the Netflix-supported Sam Spiegel Film and TV School’s Series Lab, a program for eight Israeli screenwriter and production teams selected from more than 100 applicants.
Sarandos was present at Scripted Israel along with the likes of Knives Out producer Ram Bergman, Netflix VP Series Peter Friedlander and other talent.
They met the likes of MoviePlus Productions, which co-produced HBO drama Our Boys; Dori Media, which produced Apple TV+’s Losing Alice; Spiro Films, whose drama When Heroes Fly was picked up by Netflix; and Koda Communications, which made the scripted series that HBO’s Your Honor was based on.
The event came at a time when Netflix is on something of an Israeli charm offensive following a push in the nation from local producers to implement streamer quotas and tighter regulation, one that has not yet passed through parliament.
Following this drive from producers, Netflix EMEA Head of Original Series Larry Tanz headed to the nation with a delegation in May and discussed the topic with producers, along with meeting local talent.