On Wednesday, Series Mania hosts digital presentations of drama series projects developed during a writing residency attended by 12 writers from France and Israel, whose credits include leading shows like “The Bureau,” “Fauda” and “Braquo.”
The week-long residency, initiated by France’s CNC and Israel’s Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, was supervised by Italian scriptwriter Stefano Sardo and Israeli writer-producer Yoram Mandel. Five projects have been selected for Series Mania.
Espionage thriller “The Loyalists” by Alix Deniger and Eran B.Y., centers on two agents from rival intelligence agencies – a devious Israeli family guy and a straightforward French ladies’ man. They are forced to cooperate in a sophisticated operation to seduce and manipulate a Syrian scientist and his secret mistress – the Syrian defense minister’s daughter – in order to prevent a biological attack on Israel.
Deniger is a serving police commander, with 34 years of experience, including 11 years working in anti-terrorist intelligence. He worked as a script advisor on “The Tunnel” and as a co-writer on “Braquo.” He’s now developing three TV shows: one about Muslim police officers, another on the creation of the GIGN, France’s elite police unit; and a third on a paparazzi’s agency.
Eran B.Y. created and wrote animated series “Sheryl Holmes,” was lead writer of the youth series “Tichon Ha-Shir Shelanu 2,” and created and produced internet series “Restart.” Movie credits include family adventure “Little Heroes,” and crime drama “The Red Hood Setup.” He also wrote and directed miniseries “If and When” and the film “Marrying Myself.”
Drama series “In 1942,” by Julie Anna Grignon and Hagit Saad, follows three female holocaust survivors at three different points in time; the three stories are puzzle pieces that form a bigger story. The series represents a contemporary take on holocaust remembrance.
Grignon wrote for several French TV shows, including “L’Art du Crime,” “Double Je” and “Balthazar.” She’s developing two of her own TV series – “Rewind” and “(Every) Woman” – and is working on a comedy podcast for film lovers called “2 Heures de Perdues.”
Saad has worked as a screenwriter on various Israeli television shows, including season 3 of “False Flag.” She has also been developing her own TV show, “To the Moon and Back,” and a feature film “Still.”
Dramedy “Away Game,” written by Perl Samama and Roman Rozengurt, centers on Veronica, a lonely green activist who inherits a worthless soccer team. In need of money for her animal shelter, she has to make the team successful, despite her stepmother’s attempts to sell it. Applying her knowledge of animal behavior to football strategy may be the only chance Veronica has got.
Screenwriter and script coordinator Samama wrote and produced her first play at the age of 19. After university, she worked in Israel with Artomas Production, France with Scarlett Production, and Australia with Unicorn Films.
Rozengurt studied neuropsychology before switching to writing for TV and film, mostly comedy and animation series. His best known projects are “Alisa Knows What to Do!” and “Fixies.” For the past three years, he has run his own production company and created several web-series.
Psychological thriller “Karma Cases,” written by Nathanaël Guedj, Alexandre Smia and Maayan Oz, follows a French medical student, searching for his twin sister who disappears in Goa, after quitting her military service in Israel. “On a journey through Israel’s broken generation of ex-soldiers, he will have to get lost in order to find her,” according to a statement.
Smia was a writer on season 4 of the TV series “The Bureau,” and is co-creator of criminal anthology “A French Case.” Smia and Guedj co-wrote comedy film “Si tu vois ma mère,” and are co-writing another comedy, “Je suis ton père.” Oz was a writer on season 3 of “Fauda,” and wrote feature film “Baumschlager.”
“Homesick,” by Justine Kim Gautier, Ayelet Yahia and Merav Shaked, is a romantic comedy about Tali, a young Israeli Francophile who is convinced that she was born in Israel rather than France by mistake. “When she gets a job as a Hebrew teacher in Paris, she packs her beret, her broken French and her Israeli attitude, and sets off to conquer the city without letting reality get in her way,” according to a statement.
Gautier worked for TF1 on scripted drama and preschool animated series. She is now working on a series for Elephant Story and France 3, and is developing “Coup de Foudre” with Patafilm. Yahia is a TV series editor for Keshet and Reshet. Yahia and Shaked developed “Homesick” as a part of Shaked’s screenwriting lab. Shaked is the co-creator and writer of the Israeli drama series “Castles in the Sky.”