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Haut et Court TV, ‘False Flag’ Co-Creator Team on ‘Fertile Crescent’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 3/28/2017 Elsa Keslassy
© Provided by Variety

Haut et Court TV, the French outfit behind “The Young Pope,” “The Last Panthers” and the original “The Returned,” is teaming with Eitan Mansuri’s Israel-based Spiro Films and “False Flag’s” co-creator Maria Feldman on “Fertile Crescent,” a politically minded series weaving together family drama and spy thriller.

Feldman, whose “False Flag” marked Fox Intl. Channels’s first foreign-language series acquisition, is showrunning and co-producing “Fertile Crescent.”

One of the series to be pitched at the Series Mania Festival next month, “Fertile Crescent” centers on a seemingly picture-perfect French family shattered by the death of their estranged daughter in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. Years after her tragic death, Antoine, her younger brother, is convinced he saw her in a TV program showing footage of female Kurdish fighters.

Despite his family’s protests, Antoine sets off to find his sister and embarks on a journey to a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East “where female Kurdish fighters are currently fighting the deadliest terrorist organization in the world (ISIS) and where chaos brought by the Syrian war is reshaping the whole world,” said Haut et Court TV.

“This series deals with contemporary turmoils, current wars and traumas but does so through an unusual and suspenseful story set in places and showing characters we rarely see in series,” said Caroline Benjo, the co-founder of Haut et Court TV.

Haut et Court and its partners have enlisted the help of Itai Anghel, the hard-hitting, award-winning Israeli journalist whose work has explored Islamic State and looked at Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kurdistan, Libya, Syria, and Gaza, among other war zones.

French novelist Karine Tuil (“Douce France,” “The Age of Reinvention,” “L’Insouciance”) is collaborating on the script. Some of Tuil’s novels have been selected for France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt literary honor.

The show, which will be shot in French, Arabic and English, underscores a building trend of series produced by French and Israeli partners, with creative elements from both countries.

Aside from her work as a show creator and showrunner, Feldman is also the co-founder of Tender Productions, which has produced some of Israel’s most successful shows, notably “Prisoners of War” and “Fauda.” Meanwhile, Mansuri’s Spiro Films is an up-and-coming outfit based in Jerusalem whose credits include “Afterthought.”

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