Keshet Media Group continues to expand its U.S. footprint. Two years after launching Keshet International subsidiary Keshet Studios, a Los Angeles-based scripted TV production operation led by Peter Traugott, the powerhouse Israeli indie producer behind Homeland is adding a feature development and production division, Keshet Films. It will be headed by award-winning producers Mandy Tagger-Brockey and Adi Ezroni.
Reporting to Keshet Studios Scripted President Traugott in Los Angeles, Tagger-Brockey in New York and Ezroni in Tel Aviv will oversee the development and production of features budgeted between $10 million and $20 million for the US and international markets, with the unit also looking to finance some of the films.
Keshet Films’ inaugural development slate includes a feature adaptation of the Carl Hiaasen caper novel, Skinny Dip, and Newburgh Sting, a fictional adaptation of the award-winning HBO documentary.
“KI is a premium content company that is always on the lookout for the best creative talent, and that is exactly what we have in Mandy and Adi,” said KI CEO Alon Shtruzman. “They are a perfect fit, bringing to us a distinct point of view, filmmaking savvy, a desire to create meaningful and entertaining content, as well as an outstanding track record of producing excellent films – of all budget sizes with high-quality casts, writers and directors attached.”
Keshet Studios has had a busy TV development season with three broadcast drama pilots, For God and Country at NBC, Wisdom of the Crowd at CBS and Salamander at ABC.
“When we launched Keshet Studios nearly two years ago, Alon and I knew our next primary objective would be to gain a foothold in the feature film business,” Traugott said. “Mandy and Adi have an incredible network of creative relationships throughout the Hollywood, New York and Israeli film communities. We are very lucky to have them join KI and are excited for them to lead this new venture.”
Tagger-Brockey and Ezroni join KI from their New York-based Spring Pictures label, where they developed, financed and produced a string of independent films, most recently Saturday Church, written and directed by Damon Cardasis, which is slated for a April 23 world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Spring Pictures’ 2016 Tribeca film competition entrant, Demitri Martin’s Dean, earned the Founders Award. It is due in theaters in June.
“We are thrilled to set up in house at a quality-driven company like Keshet International, furthering our commitment to supporting great talent and unique storytelling,” Tagger-Brockey and Ezroni commented. “Working closely with Alon and Peter, we intend to bring KI into the film world as an active and disruptive player.”
Founded in 2009, Spring Pictures’s credits also include A Late Quartet, directed by Yaron Zilberman and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener; The English Teacher, directed by Craig Zisk and starring Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear and Lily Collins; and SXSW Game Changer Award-winner Kelly & Cal, directed by Jen McGowan and starring Juliette Lewis and Jonny Weston. All Nighter, directed by Gavin Wiesen and starring JK Simmons and Emile Hirsch, premiered in March.
A veteran of the New York film scene, Tagger-Brockey began her career at InDigEnt – director Gary Winick, John Sloss and IFC’s prescient experiment matching top-notch industry creative talent with shoestring budgets and crew profit sharing. There she oversaw such films as the award-winning, Winick-directed Tadpole, along with Richard Linklater’s Tape, Peter Hedges’ Pieces of April, Wim Wender’s Land of Plenty and Steve Buscemi’s Lonesome Jim.
Ezroni, an award-winning actress whose credits include Keshet’s Israeli drama Prisoners of War, which was adapted in the U.S. as Homeland, has spent the past decade as a film producer. She was a partner at Priority Films prior to teaming with Tagger-Brockey.