The story of INTV, Keshet’s semi-annual confab for all things new and cutting edge in the television business, reads much like the story of Keshet itself: humble start, explosive growth, and now, an undeniable spot at the heart of the global television industry.
Five years ago, Keshet announced a gathering in Jerusalem for leaders in the media business to come together, in a joint brainstorming/hobnobbing session, to discuss the future of global content and media. Start-up technology — Israel’s most valuable export — was at the heart of the conversation, but so was the very concept of storytelling in a digital age, the value and currency of content in an ever-shifting media landscape, and the increasingly hefty weight of globalization on the shoulders of modern storytellers.
Jerusalem, as a locale, is not the easiest sell. It’s a brutal 13-hour flight from Hollywood, with a difficult 10-hour time difference. It’s a place rife with politics and power struggles. And until KI put down anchors in media hubs around the world, the most popular content set within its walls was the 5,000-year-old Bible.
Rick Rosen, head of TV at WME, which reps Keshet, has been one of the company’s most influential partners in Hollywood and part of INTV’s vision since its inception.
“It used to be this little conference in Jerusalem and now it’s become a world-class conference,” Rosen says. “When we first started, it was whoever we could get, we brought over. And every year it got bigger, and last year I just took a look at the speakers and thought: this is extraordinary. It was a true international conference.”
INTV 2018 will be held March 12-13 in Jerusalem and offers its most impressive slate yet. Gary Newman, co-chairman-CEO of Fox Television Group, will join this year, an easy decision to make, he says.
“Having Avi Nir and Rick Rosen in a room together is a powerful combination. So when they showed up in my office last summer and invited me to participate in the conference, I had to say yes.”
Joining Newman this year: Showtime president-CEO David Nevins; HBO programming president Casey Bloys; TBS and TNT president / Turner Entertainment chief creative officer Kevin Reilly; CBS News president David Rhodes; Entertainment One CEO Darren Throop; Hulu chief creative officer Joel Stillerman; the Mark Gordon Co. CEO Mark Gordon; HBO Programming’s David Levine and Francesca Orsi, exec VPs and co-heads of drama; TF1 France drama head Marie Guillaumond, and “The Crown” producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries, along with Benjamin Caron, a director on the series. Variety’s Debra Birnbaum will also be on hand to moderate the panel with Gordon and Throop.
Topics on tap for discussion include: Social media, innovation, the internet of things, apps, automated video storytelling, fake news and psychological warfare, as well as a new MediaTech track exploring investing, venture capital and future media trends.
Lionsgate Television Group president Sandra Stern is an INTV regular and will be back in 2018.
“I find it to be invaluable,” she says of the confab. “Keshet has created a forum for some of the smartest, most talented and most innovative people in television to come together to exchange ideas and create a truly global community.”
Being in Israel, with tours of Jerusalem’s Old City and nightlife wrapped into programming as well, further sells the conference, says Rosen.
“If you had this conference in New York or L.A. you couldn’t get these people together,” he says.