Israeli TV drama takes the world by storm

Daniel Taub, Daphna Levin


Viewers the world over have been glued to terrorism drama Homeland, an American version of Prisoners of War, which was originally made for home consumption in Israel. The country’s screenwriters and producers are in high demand as TV concepts are bought by international companies and hit the global mainstream. So what makes Israeli television drama so compelling, and what can we expect to see next on our screens?

The discussion on this evening was different from advertised. Sayed Kashua, creator of Arab Labor, and the session’s planned chair, British TV drama producer, Roanna Benn, were unable to take part. Daphna Levin was joined by Daniel Taub, writer of an Israeli television series set in the ultra orthodox community Ha Chatzer (The Rabbi’s Court) and Simon Shaps, former Director of Television at ITV chaired the exploration of the plots, characters and talents behind the Israeli TV drama boom.

Daniel Taub

Daniel Taub appeared in his private capacity. He is currently the Ambassador of Israel to the Court of St James.

Daphna Levin

Daphna Levin was twice awarded the Israeli Academy Award for best screenplay as one of the writers of the drama series In Treatment. She created the mini-series Eagles based on a novel by Yoram Kaniuk and has also worked extensively as a director of both drama and commercials. As director and co-creator with writer Ron Leshem, Daphna is currently working on a new series, Euphoria focusing on the lives of a group of 17-year old Israelis.

Simon Shaps

Simon Shaps is Managing Director, International Content, at CORE Media Group. He is former CEO of ITV\'s global production business and from 2005 to 2008 was ITV\'s Director of Television, with responsibility for commissioning and scheduling across ITV1 and all ITV\'s digital channels. He is chairman of five companies, Mercury Media, A Brand Apart TV, Open TV and Film, Back2Back and Ignite and is current chair of the National Film and Television School and a mentor for Women in Film & Television.