Rama Burshtein, the critically acclaimed New York-born Israeli filmmaker of “Fill The Void,” has teamed with Yes Studios (“Fauda,” “Shtisel”) on her TV drama debut, “Fire Dance.” Now in post, the show will be a Yes Studios original series and will be launching at the end of 2021 or early 2022.
“Fire Dance,” written and directed by Burshtein, is a vivid tale of impossible love set in a tight-knit ultra-Orthodox religious sect. Laced with fantasy, the seven-part series tells the coming-of-age story of a troubled young woman, Faigie, who’s grown up in a broken home and falls passionately in love with Nathan, the 35-year-old married son of the leader of the ultra-orthodox community in which they both live. Nathan is also the owner of a workshop which employs seamstresses who live with mental illness, run by Faigie’s mother, Rayzee.
Following a failed suicide attempt, Faigie becomes part of Nathan’s household, helping to run the home while Nathan’s wife, Yocheved, is pregnant with their first child, after nearly two decades of marriage. The bond between the two families tightens as Faigie grows dangerously close to Nathan, though Faigie’s feelings and her longing for a relationship with Nathan can never materialize as they are governed by the rules dictated by their religious beliefs- which could not allow such passion to be consummated.
Set on the backdrop of a conservative, devout community, the series will explore the delicate tension between passion and fulfilment.
The show is produced by Shira Margalit and Elad Kuperman at Kuma Studios, Adar Shafran and Tammy Cohen at Firma Productions, and Yes TV. It stars Yehuda Levi (Very Important Person), Noa Koler (“The Wedding Plan,” “Possession”) as well as newcomer Mia Ivrin.
Burshtein, who is herself an Orthodox Jew, has been revered on the international scene for delivering authentic and modern films tackling love and marriage in the Hassidic community, for instance with “The Wedding Plan” which played at Venice and Stockholm film festivals, as well as “Fill The Void” which played Toronto and competed at Venice where it won best actress for Hadas Yaron.
“Rama is so smart, so passionate and she has a unique voice. She’s been able to create an original story with Ultra-Orthodox characters that is accessible to general audiences and visually beautiful,” says Danna Stern, managing director at Yes Studios. Stern describes the unique look and styling of the show as “a cross between ‘Mad Men’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ as obviously the themes and subjects are very different.” She says the show also has fantastical elements and boasts vibrant colors, unlike other shows set in the Ultra-Orthodox community.
Meanwhile, Yes Studios is getting ready to host the premiere screening of “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” a sprawling family saga, in Tel Aviv on May 31. The multi-generational costume melodrama, which marks the company’s biggest investment to date, will bow on Yes TV in early June.