Big players on the small screen

Larry Tanz, the vice president of content acquisition for Netflix in the US, will speak at the conference.

CEO OF FX Networks John Landgraf. (photo credit: COURTESY MEITAL KUPERMAN)
CEO OF FX Networks John Landgraf.
Israeli television has become a key part of “Start-up Nation,” as dozens of Israeli shows have turned into international hits, and now the second annual International TV Formats Conference, which will take place in Tel Aviv from September 12-14, will bring together leaders of the Israel television industry and international buyers and producers.
The conference will include talks and panel discussions on issues that affect the television industry; a first look at upcoming Israeli television shows that will be taking part in MIPCOM, a huge entertainment content market in Cannes in October; and a competition for new series sponsored by Armoza Formats, which will award a prize of $25,000 to the winning entry.
But more than the organized program, the conference will offer participants the chance to network and to buy and sell new television shows.
Everyone knows that the Israeli series Hatufim became Homeland and Betipul was turned into In Treatment, but these shows were only the beginning of an extraordinary collaboration between the Israeli television industry and international networks. Dozens of other formats, both scripted and unscripted, have been sold to international markets in recent years, and many more are in development.
Adam Berkowitz, co-head of CAA’s Television Department in Los Angeles and the president of the TV Formats Conference, will be one of the featured speakers. Berkowitz brokered the deal that turned the Israeli series Ha Hamama into the just-released Netflix show The Greenhouse Academy. This is especially significant for the Israeli industry because Ha Hamama’s original showrunner, Giora Chamizer, wrote and produced the US version and because the Netflix series was filmed entirely in Israel, bringing a great deal of money and opportunity to the local industry. The Greenhouse Academy is just one of Berkowitz’s many deals that involve Israeli television, and he is considered one of the Israeli television industry’s champions abroad.
The keynote speaker will be John Landgraf, the CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions in the US, who will talk about the future of television. FX produced Tyrant, the show about a Middle Eastern dictator that was co-created by Gideon Raff, who was behind Homeland.
Larry Tanz, the vice president of content acquisition for Netflix in the US, will speak at the conference. In addition to producing The Greenhouse Academy, Netflix streams the original Israeli television show Fauda, and is producing a remake of the Israeli series The Good Cop, starring Tony Danza. Other confirmed speakers include Michael Rotenberg, co-founder and partner of 3 Arts Entertainment, a film producer, Emmy-Award winning television producer and talent manager who is currently executive producing Silicon Valley and Insecure for HBO; Ben Silverman, the Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning show creator and media executive who is chairman and co-CEO of Propagate Content; Michael Schmidt, chief creative officer of Red Arrow Entertainment Group; and Ricardo Coeto, EVP Productions, Telemundo Studios, Miami.
Among the Israeli speakers will be MK Eli Cohen, Economy and Industry Minister; Danna Stern, vice president of acquisitions, channels and programming for Yes-DBS Satellite Services; Omri Marcus, vice president of content, Ananey Communications; Avi Issacharoff, co-creator of Fauda; Erez Ben-Harush, vice president of content, Reshet Media Ltd.; Keren Shahar, COO and president of distribution, Keshet International; and Avi Armoza, founder and CEO, Armoza Formats.
The conference will take place at Beit Hasmachot on Menachem Begin Road. It is co-sponsored by the Foreign Ministry, the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute and the Economy and Industry Ministry.
More information can be found on the website