EXCLUSIVE: Netflix conducted an Israeli charm offensive late last month, with EMEA VP, head of original series, Larry Tanz, spending five days in the country talking to talent, executives and major backers in what is becoming a regulatory battlefield.
Along with a delegation including Anna Nagler, director of local language originals, Central and Eastern Europe, Deadline understands that Tanz, who is based in Netflix’s Netherlands office, was in Israel from April 28 to May 3.
The visit focused primarily on Netflix’s work supporting young Israeli talent, but included some tough conversations about regulations and potential streamer quotas, which Deadline revealed last month is a hot topic in Israel.
Professional organizations of producers in the country that manufactured Fauda and Shtisel are working on a groundbreaking bill they hope to send to the government shortly, which would include streamer quotas for local programming and the ability for independents to retain 50% rights to their own shows.
However, sources close to the streamer believe that requiring US gamers to order a certain amount of local content would be too restrictive and could have unintended consequences. Since its launch in 2016, Netflix has streamed over 100 Israeli/Hebrew movies and TV shows through a mix of self-produced, licensed and co-produced content.
Several European countries such as France, Italy and Switzerland are in the process of implementing legislation similar to what the Israeli producers are proposing, but there is none outside of Europe.
Netflix has expressed full support for the new 25% discount for international TV and film productions in Israel during the trip, it is understood.
Tanz and Nagler faced tough questions about these topics, but used the visit to underscore Netflix’s commitment to investing in Israeli content, talent and the local ecosystem, according to those present.
The executive duo met with a range of key producers, writers, directors and financial backers and hosted a fireside chat with over 150 people about the power of authentic storytelling, moderated by Fauda director Assaf Bernstein.
They also focused on ongoing work to support the Sam Spiegel School of Film and Television’s Series Lab, a four-month incubator program for six to eight Israeli creatives looking to break into the world. .
Netflix is sponsoring an Outstanding Project Award and sending Friends writer Jill Condon at the school to lead a masterclass in screenplay development and mentor participants.