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Yes TV orders Israeli historical epic

Filming is underway on The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem

Yes TV in Israel has commissioned two seasons of an epic historical family saga described as the country’s largest TV production to date.

The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem is based on Sarit Yishai-Levy’s novel of the same name. Tel Aviv-based producer and distributor Yes Studios started production on the show this week, with filming taking place throughout Israel, including in historical locations in Jerusalem, Safed, Acre and other cities.

Described as a historical, multi-generational melodrama, the series has been created by Shlomo Mashiach (Your Honor) and Ester Namdar Tamam.

Yes Studios said it represents Yes TV’s largest financial investment in a series to date and one of the most expensive productions ever to come out of Israel.

It added that the show would be Israel’s largest television production in terms of its recreation of events and called Yishai-Levy’s novel a “cultural phenomenon, read by millions around the world.”

Set in the early-mid 20th century from 1917 onwards, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem follows the story of the Armoza family against the backdrop of the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate and Israel’s War of Independence.

It will be shot in Hebrew, English, Ladino and Arabic and will air on Yes TV in early 2021.

The series is written by Mashiach, directed by Oded Davidoff, produced by Dafna Prenner and Shai Eines from Artza Productions and distributed by Yes Studios.

It stars Michael Aloni (Shtisel), Hila Saada (The Baker & The Beauty), Itzik Cohen (Fauda) and Swell Ariel Or, as well as Yuval Scharf (McMafia), Ellie Steen, Moris Cohen, Irit Kaplan, Israel Ogalbo, Tamir Ginsburg, Tom Hagi, Omer Dror, Miki Kam and Dov Navon.

Yes Studios has previously been behind series including Fauda, Your Honor, Shtisel, 68 Whiskey and On the Spectrum.

Danna Stern, MD of Yes Studios, said: “The initial two-season order is a show of confidence in the storytelling abilities of all involved. This series is a big departure from our usual fare, as this is one the only period pieces ever produced in the country, but we are hopeful that audiences worldwide will feel the same as we do and join us on this adventure.”

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