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British production and sales outfit WestEnd Films and European producer/financier Anton are joining forces to bankroll a new slate of high-end television series.
The first project under the partnership, announced Thursday, will be a thriller series from Israeli showrunners Ron Leshem and Amit Cohen, creators of False Flag and the WestEnd-produced Valley of Tears.
Leshem, who also created the Israeli drama Euphoria was successfully adapted by HBO in a version starring Zendaya; and Cohen, whose credits include hit spy series The Gordin Cell, will be lead writers on the new series as well as executive producers. Deals of the project are still under wraps.
Valley of Tears, a historic retelling of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which WestEnd Films produced together with Endemol Shine Israel and United King Films, is Israel’s biggest TV drama series to date. The show premiered as part of the 2020 Series Mania festival and sold worldwide to HBO Max.
The Anton-WestEnd deal was negotiated by Celia Meirow, Anton’s head of business development, and WestEnd Films’ managing director Maya Amsellem.
“WestEnd has launched its TV arm WeSeries a year ago and we are thrilled to be working with Anton to develop and produce high-end dramas,” said Amsellem in a statement. “Our combined expertise and knowledge will be devoted to finding and curating unique stories that will resonate with an international audience.”
Anton already has a similar series development fund in place with the BBC —which has backed such series as Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and Gentleman Jack —and has multi-financing agreements with European TV groups Federation Entertainment and TF1-owned Newen.
The fast-growing outfit, launched by former StudioCanal executive Sébastien Raybaud, is also a major player in the indie film world, with a slate financing deal that bankrolled the Paddington and Shaun the Sheep franchises and a film production arm whose output includes Gerard Butler action thriller Greenland, the Rebecca Hall horror film The Night House, and upcoming John Boyega starrer Naked Singularity.
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