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Big Thinking for the Small Screen:

Big Thinking for the Small Screen:

The Golden Age of Israeli Television

Monday, October 22, 2018 - 7:00 pm

The ideas and talent behind Israeli television have never had more of a global reach. Israeli hit Hatufim became Showtime's Homeland. B’Tipul became HBO's In Treatment. Fauda was purchased by Netflix and is now produced as a Netflix Original Series. And K’vodo (Your Honor) is currently being adapted for the U.S. market by CBS.

In this very special Spertus program, the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema presented episodes of two new Israeli dramedies, On the Spectrum (winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Series Mania in Lille, France) and Significant Other (Kacha Zeh).

After the screening, a panel of masterful industry insiders assembled on stage and discussed the secret sauce of Israeli series success. With former HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo; Significant Other co-creator, writer, and lead actor Dana Modan; K’vodo co-creator and writer Shlomo Mashiach; and University of Chicago visual anthropologist Dr. Michael Fisch, and moderated by Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema Executive Director Cindy Stern.

Michael Lombardo, Cindy Stern, Michael Fisch

Michael Lombardo (above, left) was responsible for some of HBO's most acclaimed series, miniseries, and films, including Game of Thrones, Girls, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Olive KitteridgeSilicon Valley, The Normal HeartTrue Blood, Too Big to Fail, Veep, and Westworld. He is the Executive Producer of The Summer of 2014, currently shooting in Israel.

Dana Modan (top photo, right) is one of the co-stars of Significant Other. She launched her acting career in Eytan Fox’s The Bubble in 2006 and has since gone on to create, write, and star in a number of series on Israeli television.

Shlomo Mashiach (not pictured) is an Israeli writer whose Your Honor took the top Grand Jury Prize in the 2017 Series Mania in Paris. Other series he has written and created include Reaching Heaven and the Ophir-winning Napoleon Hills Kids

Dr. Michael Fisch (above, right) is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. An Israeli-American, his research explores the changing conceptualization of culture.

Cindy Stern (above, center) is the Executive Director of the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema.

On the Spectrum, Israeli TV series

Above: On the Spectrum, photo courtesy Ohad Romano/Yes.

Photo Captions

Image left: Assi Cohen and Dana Modan, Significant Other.

About the shows

Significant Other portrays a recently divorced man and his single neighbor, who embark on a hesitant, obstacle-filled relationship.

On the Spectrum follows a trio of fictional twenty-something roommates, all on the autistic spectrum, as they learn to cope with the world around them.


Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema
Spertus Institute
 was the screening host
for this Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema