Keshet Launches Euro Drama Initiative; K5 Takes ‘Orthodox’ – Global Briefs

Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Israel’s Keshet Media Group, is embarking on a European Drama Initiative. The company, known for the original Homeland (Hatufim in Israel), DIG, Tyrant, Your Family Or Mine and Allegiance (aka The Gordin Cell), will look to fund three to four new drama productions a year via the new scheme. KI says it wants to build on its existing partnerships with European drama producers and creative talent across the continent, to co-develop and co-produce projects which leverage its network and cater to the global market. An example of the type of programming its eyeing includes Crater Lake, the eight-part Keshet UK and Atlantique Productions drama project created by Ron Leshem. KI also has the psychological thriller False Flag and autism drama The A Word in development for Fox International Channels and the BBC, respectively. Keshet’s Sara Johnson and Sebastian Burkhardt are leading the initiative

ITV has ordered a six-part entertainment show to slot into primetime later this year. Eternal Glory will see sport legends compete against one another as they take on tough physical and mental challenges. Twofour is producing with shooting to take place in Croatia this month. The competitors, who have yet to be announced, will live together and take on challenges in various locations in the Eastern European country. These include hanging over the open waters of the Adriatic, searching for objects submerged in the deep sea and traversing a high-wire rope over a ravine. They’ll also be tested for hand-eye co-ordination, reaction and strategy. Richard Bacon is hosting with scientist Professor Greg Whyte providing insight into the sports science behind each challenge. The Small World IFT format is in its 6th season in Norway and just wrapped its 7th in Sweden; it’s been a ratings winner in both.

david leonOliver Simon and Daniel Baur’s K5 International has boarded Orthodox, David Leon’s debut feature. A crime drama, it’s already been picked up by Kaleidoscope for UK distribution under a deal with K5. Stephen Graham (This Is England, Boardwalk Empire) stars with Michael Smiley (Black Sea, Kill List) in the story of an outsider in the Jewish community who takes up boxing as a means of self-defense. Alienated by his own choices, he finds comfort under the wing of shady fixer, but an involvement in unlicensed boxing pushes him further to the edges of his community. Financed by Ingenious Media, Orthodox is written and directed by Leon, whose short Man & Boy won the Best Narrative Short Award at Tribeca in 2011 as well as The Aspen Shortsfest Creative Award. As an actor, Leon has appeared in Oliver Stone’s Alexander and Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla. Daisy Allsop of Zeitgeist is producing, exec producers are Graham and Gareth Wiley.

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