Israeli TV Drama 'On the Spectrum' Wins Big at France’s Séries Mania Festival

The Yes broadcaster captures the top prize for the second straight year after 2017’s 'Your Honor'

Itay Stern
Itay Stern
From the Israeli drama series 'On the Spectrum.'
From the Israeli drama series 'On the Spectrum.'Credit: Yes TV
Itay Stern
Itay Stern

The series “On the Spectrum” won the top prize at France’s Festival Séries Mania on Saturday, with the judges at the Lille-based event celebrating the drama about three assisted-living apartment mates on the autism spectrum.

Yes will start showing “On the Spectrum” on May 22. The series, which marks the second straight year Yes won the main award at Lille, was produced for the Yes satellite broadcaster by director Yuval Shafferman and screenwriter Dana Idisis.

Last year, Yes won with the court drama “Your Honor,” which was subsequently sold to the United States with “The Good Wife” producers Robert and Michelle King attached to work on the remake.

Saturday also marked Israel’s second big win in as many months. Last month Omri Givron’s “When Heroes Fly” won for best series at the first Canneseries festival.

This year at Series Mania, among the shows “On the Spectrum” beat was another Israeli entry, “Autonomies,” which explores an Israel completely split between an Orthodox Jerusalem and a secular Tel Aviv. That show was produced for Hot cable television by Yehonatan Indursky and Ori Elon, who also made the hit series “Shtisel” on an ultra-Orthodox family in Jerusalem.

Other series competing in the main event this year were “American Woman” starring Alicia Silverstone, “The Split,” written by Abi Morgan (the screenwriter of “Iron Lady” and “Shame”) and “The Rain,” a post-apocalyptic Danish series produced by Netflix.

The three protagonists in "On the Spectrum" are Amit (Ben Yosipovich), a high-functioning man with autism who’s still trying to figure out how to use a bus, Zohar (Naomi Levov), a woman with a mental deficiency who works in a café while searching for love, and Ron Ron (Niv Majar), a man with Asperger’s syndrome who is obsessed with the shopping channel and cleanliness, so he doesn’t go outside.

Among the judges at this year’s competition, which was held for the ninth year, were the creator of “Narcos” Chris Brancato, Israeli producer Maria Feldman (“Homeland,” “Fauda” and “False Flag”) and German actress Maria Schrader (“Deutschland 83,” “Aimée & Jaguar”).

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