Two out of 10 TV shows vying for prizes at an inaugural TV competition in April in Cannes are Israeli creations.
This is the first year for the Canneseries contest, featuring 10 new television series. And two of the finalists - When Heroes Fly and Miguel - are Israeli productions. When Heroes Fly is an upcoming Keshet show created by writer and director Omri Givon, and Miguel is a HOT production written by Tom Salama and Daphna Levin.
The two shows will compete against eight others from around the world for prizes including best music, best screenplay, best performance, special performance prize and best series. The finalists were announced by the competition on Tuesday, and Israel is the only country with multiple series taking part in the official competition.
When Heroes Fly - based on the book by Amir Gutfreund - was filmed last year in Israel and Colombia. It features four friends - veterans of a special IDF unit - who reunite for one finale mission 12 years after their traumatic experience in the Second Lebanon War.
Givon shared clips from the show with the audience at the Keshet INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
"The first thing I looked for is my personal connection to the story," said Givon during a panel discussion with other Israeli writers and directors. "The idea of four friends who reunited after years of trauma from the war is something that interests me." Givon added that he was drawn to the story because of the "mixing of realistic drama with elements of a detective plot."
The series features Tomer Kapon (Fauda, Bnei Aruba), Michael Aloni (Shitsel) and singer Ninet Tayeb.
Miguel, which began airing in Israel in January, tells the story of Tom, a gay Israeli man who desperately wants to become a father. So Tom travels to Guatemala - since gay men can't easily adopt in Israel - and meets five-year-old Miguel. The show stars Ran Danker (Eyes Wide Open, The Gordin Cell) and Aviv Karmi.
On April 11 an international jury - presided over by author Harlan Coben - will crown the winners.