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Paris-based Newen is joining forces with Keshet Media Group, the production arm of the Israeli media powerhouse, to launch a drama development initiative for French and Israeli writers with the aim of delivering upscale international co-productions.

The two companies are calling for professional writers to send pitches for internationally driven one-hour drama projects that can be shot in either English or Hebrew. Up to three projects will be selected and will be developed with an experienced European showrunner and production team.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Atar Dekel, head of global scripted co-productions; Nelly Feld, Keshet International’s sales director for Europe; and Sandra Ouaiss, head of co-productions at Newen. The panel of judges includes Keshet Broadcasting’s head of drama Karni Ziv, along with select French producers from Newen-owned companies Telfrance and Capa Drama.

“We value the writing of Israeli authors a lot, as they have often proved to be exceptionally strong when it comes to the skill of characterization. We are very proud to work with such a renowned company as Keshet,” said Ouaiss.

Dekel said: “Within KI’s aim to grow its global drama co-productions, we are excited to be partnering up with a company as prestigious as Newen. This is a unique opportunity for the creative communities in both France and Israel to take their local stories to the international stage.”

The Keshet exec added that “there is a keen appetite in the global market for Israeli and French scripted content, and we hope this collaboration will instigate several high-end international co-productions.”

The submission period began Monday and will end Oct.31. The companies have committed to selecting between one and three projects which they will have the option to co-develop and co-produce.

Finalists will be announced in January.